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Photo of Gurusami, Susila

Susila Gurusami

CLJ Faculty


Criminology, Law, and Justice

Pronouns: Sher/Her/Hers


Assistant Professor

I am an Assistant Professor of Criminology, Law, and Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a sociologist of race, gender, labor, and politics, with particular interests in carceral governance and abolition.

I am also a former UC Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow and received my Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2017.

My work has been published in Gender & Society, Social Problems, and Punishment and Society. Recognitions for this scholarship include funding and awards from the American Sociological Association, Sociologists for Women in Society, Society for the Study of Social Problems, and the Racial Democracy, Crime, and Justice Network.

I am currently working on a book manuscript investigating how Black women navigate state surveillance, regulation, and punishment in their everyday lives after returning home from prison and jail.

Selected Publications

– Gurusami, Susila and Rahim Kurwa (equal authorship). 2021. “From Broken Windows to Broken Homes: Homebreaking as Racialized and Gendered Poverty Governance.” Feminist Formations 33 (1): 1-33 [lead article]

– Gurusami, Susila. 2019. “Motherwork Under the State: The Maternal Labor of Formerly Incarcerated Black Women.” Social Problems 66 (1): 128–143

– Gurusami, Susila. 2019. “The Carceral Web We Weave: Carceral Citizens’ Experiences of Digital Punishment and Solidarity.” Punishment and Society 21 (4): 435-453

– Gurusami, Susila. 2017. “Working for Redemption: Formerly Incarcerated Black Women and Punishment in the Labor Market.” Gender & Society 31(4):433–56 [lead article]

Notable Honors

2020, Oliver Cromwell Cox Article Award, ASA Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities

2019, Arlene Kaplan Daniels Paper Award, Society for the Study of Social Problems

2019, Alternate and Honorable Mention, NASEM Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship,

2018, Fellow, Summer Research Institute, Racial Democracy, Crime and Justice Network, Rutgers University

2018, Cheryl Allyn Miller Award, Sociologists for Women in Society

2018, Distinguished Article Award, Honorable Mention, ASA Section on Race, Gender, and Class

2018, Distinguished Article Award, Honorable Mention, ASA Section on Sex and Gender

2017, James E. Blackwell Graduate Student Paper Award, ASA Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities

2017, Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Riverside

2016, Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award, ASA Section on Race, Class, and Gender