Photo of Viviane Saleh-Hanna

Viviane Saleh-Hanna

Professor, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth


Viviane Saleh-Hanna received her Master of Arts from the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia and her Ph.d in Criminal Justice at Indiana University in Bloomington. She has worked with prisoners all over the world including Canada, the United States, Nigeria, Ghana and Egypt. Before moving to the United States she lived in Nigeria and worked with prisoners along the West African coastline. Her book, Colonial Systems of Control: Criminal Justice in Nigeria (2008) is the first to include first-hand accounts about life in prison written by prisoners in a West African prison. These rare chapters provide an in-depth view of the segments of Nigerian prisoners’ lives and struggles that they have decided to share with the world.

Her doctoral research was on Crime, Resistance and Song. Tracing the Cross-Atlantic slave route through lyrics Dr. Saleh-Hanna highlights the world views artists contribute to struggles for justice in Nigeria through Afrobeat, Jamaica through Reggae and the United States through Hip Hop. Her work includes lyrics and music by artists such as Fela Kuti, Lagbaja, Miriam Makeba, Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, Dead Prez, Immortal Technique, Spiritchild and the Welfare Poets. She has been involved in penal abolition movements and international gatherings for more than 20 years. Her most recent research and publications have included hauntology and the sociological study of ghosts, historic memory, abusive structural relationships and works inspired by Toni Morrison’s and Octavia Butler’s novels. As an example of this work please read Black Feminist Hauntology: Rememory the ghosts of abolition? Dr. Saleh-Hanna serves on the board of editors for the Journal of Prisoners on Prisons and the African Journal of Criminology and Justice Studies.

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