Professor Thusi combines anthropological methodology and legal analysis to examine policing and criminalization at the intersection of justice, gender, and race. Her recent scholarship examines how the policing and criminalization of so-called vices reflect existing racial and gender hierarchies. Her research offers a theoretical framework for assessing whether criminal legal interventions should be adopted, which is sensitive to the harms of mass incarceration.
Thusi’s research is inextricably connected to her previous legal experience at organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and—most recently—The Opportunity Agenda, a social justice communication lab that collaborates to effect lasting policy and culture change. She served as a federal law clerk to two social justice giants: the Honorable Robert L. Carter, who sat on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and was the lead counsel for the NAACP in Brown v. Board of Education; and the Honorable Damon J. Keith, who sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and is lauded for his prominent civil rights jurisprudence. She also clerked for Justice van der Westhuizen at the Constitutional Court of South Africa, the country’s highest court.
Among other acknowledgements throughout her career, Thusi received a W.E.B. Dubois Fellowship at Harvard University, the Andrew W. Mellon Doctoral Fellowship in the Humanities, and was named a Next Generation African Scholar by the Social Science Research Council. She has published or has forthcoming articles in Utah Law Review and the Lewis & Clark Law Review, amongst others.