Ethan Blue

Dr, BA Virginia, MA PhD UT Austin

  • The University of Western Australia (M204), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Personal profile


Ethan Blue was raised on Coast Miwok land in Northern California and currently lives on unceded Whadjuk Noongar boodja in Western Australia. He is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Western Australia, with research interests at the intersection of critical prison studies and histories of immigration, racial capitalism, and settler colonialism.

Blue’s monographs and edited volumes include the sole-authored Doing Time in the Depression: Everyday Life in Texas and California Prisons (New York University Press, 2012), the co-authored Engineering and War (Morgan and Claypool, 2014), and the special issue Radical History Review: Punishment and Death: The Need for Radical Analysis (2006).  His most recent book is The Deportation Special: A History of America through Forced Removal (University of California Press, 2021).

Blue’s writings have appeared in numerous edited volumes and scholarly journals, including Pacific Historical Review; Journal of Social History; Law, Culture, and the Humanities; Humanities Research; Journal of American Ethnic HistoryBad Subjects; National Identities; Leonardo, and Settler Colonial Studies.  


United States History; History of Punishment; Immigration History; Ethnic Studies; Cultural History; Labor/Working Class History; Critical Theory; Gender and Masculinities; US-Mexico Borderlands; Deportation; Comparative Wests; Technology; Settler Colonialisms, Spatial History; Deaths in Custody.



Funding overview

• 2016 UWA Near Miss Central Grant scheme, $34,000AUD.

• 2015 UWA Internal Teaching Relief Scheme. $19,903AUD.

• Lead investigator, ‘Histories and legacies of deportation across the Pacific,’ USAsia Centre Seed Funding Grant, 2014. $10,000AUD.

• Residential Research Fellow, Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, University of Michigan. January – May 2012. Associated travel grant: $5000 USD

• Australia Learning and Teaching Council Team award recipient to investigate “Engineering and Social Justice,” Team coordinated by Winthrop Professor Caroline Baillie, 2010-2011. Total grant: $213,000.

• Chief Investigator, “Comparative Wests: Peripheral Regions in Settler Colonial Societies,” Total Grant $31,000: $15,000 ISL-HCA Linkage Grant from the Australian Academy for the Humanities, 2010. $13,000 matching funds from UWA, $3000 from United States Studies Centre at Sydney University.

• Australian Academy of the Humanities Traveling Fellowship, 2010 ($4000).

• Australian Academy of the Humanities Publication Subsidy ($3000).

• Littleton-Griswold Research Grant, from the American Historical Association, 2006-2007, Sole Investigator ($1000 USD).

• University of Western Australia Research Development Grant, 2006, Sole Investigator ($26,500 AUD).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research expertise keywords

  • United States History
  • Comparative racial formations
  • Crime, punishment and political economy
  • Law and society
  • Critical prison studies
  • Cultural history
  • Critical social theory
  • Gender and masculinities
  • Medicine, history of
  • Immigration and deportation
  • Working class social and cultural history
  • Digital humanities
  • Spatial history
  • Comparative colonialisms
  • Comparative 'Wests'
  • Mobilities
  • Settler Colonialisms
  • Prison Abolition and Criminal Justice Reform


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