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Corey J Miles, PhD

Assistant Professor 

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Starting Fall 2021, Corey J. Miles will be an Assistant Professor jointly appointed in the Department of Sociology & Africana Studies program at Tulane University. He earned his Ph.D. in Sociology with a concentration in Africana Studies from Virginia Tech in 2019.

Dr. Miles’s research interests are at the nexus of Black performative culture and the carceral organization of the American landscape. He examines the ways Black performance has served as an epistemological and ontological critique of an anti-Black structure of America that is mediated through carceral logics and technologies.

Research Interests


In this research area, I am interested in the fantastic sensibilities of hip-hop. I focus on the ways hip-hop is a Black epistemological site that allows Black communities to remix language, reimagine structures, and negotiate Black subjectivity. My particular focus is on trap music, where I view lyrics centered on guns and drugs as an artistic template and engage the nuanced stories that are woven within this frame. I engage questions on the feminist possibilities of this music and its role in allowing Black people to survive anti-Black structures.

Race + Carceral Structures


Within this research I look at the methods and logics used to criminalize Blackness. I use qualitative data to argue that if Blackness is criminalized then all spaces are carceral sites as Black being demands surveillance and policing. I position America as a carceral space and think about the everyday movements of Blackness as attempts to survive state-violence.

The Baltimore Project


Dr. Theresa Rocha Beardall (Virginia Tech) and I have created a research team composed of undergraduate researchers from Morgan State University and Virginia Tech. Working under the framework of research-as-pedagogy, students receive hands-on fieldwork training and collect ethnographic data alongside two faculty members. The research team is conducting ethnographic research in Baltimore City to understand community notions of safety and accountability that decenter white frameworks, to center community language and desires.



Miles, Corey. Hip-Hop's Vibe: Rural Black Aesthetics and Racialized Emotions in the  Carceral South. (University Press of Mississippi, under advanced contract) 

Miles, Corey. (2020). Rural Feminist Trap: Stylized Gendered Performativity in Trap  Music. Journal of Hip-Hop Studies 7(1), 44-70. 

Miles, Corey. (in press). “Resisting the Criminalization of Hip Hop Culture among  Africana People.” In The Routledge Handbook of Africana Criminologies. Edited by Biko Agozino, Viviane Saleh-Hanna, Emmanuel Onyeozili, and Nantyatyanbo Dastile,  Routledge. 

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