Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


Dr Carson Cole Arthur

Dr Carson Cole Arthur is a Visiting Research Fellow in 2024-25

Dr Carson Cole Arthur is a Lecturer of Criminology at the University of Law (London, UK). He has a PhD in Criminology from Birkbeck, University of London. His research interests include state racial violence, accountability, and testimony. He also writes about African and Afro-diasporic art and cinema. His work has been published in Crime, Media, Culture, Third Text Online, Paletten, and Rhizomes (forthcoming).  

Project Description

Narrating anti-blackness: accountability and the deaths of Black people in police custody analyses how, within a legal forum, the police (mainly in England and Wales) narrates the death of Black person, while also reflecting on how such an analysis produces its own narrative that risks reinscribing anti-blackness. Reading inquest transcripts of England/Wales police officers' accounts, this project aims to reveal how ‘black social death’ is written and spoken by a police officer into a social text. In studying how a legal case is made, wherein a Black person is spoken as the cause of their death and thus not the responsibility of the police, this project theoretically and conceptually investigates how the episteme of truth, the process of narrativisation, and the logic of causality, renders blackness as that which is violence onto itself.  It engages and contributes to Black Studies, critical legal studies, critical criminology, literary studies, and deconstruction. Throughout this project it will also reckon with the ethics and responsibility of such an undertaking, with a related concern and interest with bearing witness.