David J. Knight is an Assistant Professor of Sociology (beginning July 2024) and a Faculty Fellow in African American and African Diaspora Studies at Columbia University. He is also a faculty affiliate at Incite. David is a political sociologist who is interested in how social and political change unfolds in contexts of historical exclusion and marginalization. Accordingly, his research and writing cross several subfields including the sociology of mass incarceration, race and ethnicity, social movements and collective behavior, youth and young adulthood, and health and medical sociology.
David is currently leading projects that investigate (1) the political, social, and life-course consequences of incarceration, specifically long-term imprisonment; (2) the unintended civic and political consequences of housing and other areas of social policy; and (3) the role of collective mobilization in promoting equitable health outcomes among historically excluded populations. Across these three lines of inquiry, David maintains a particular interest in understanding Black communities’ experiences with the carceral state and community-led efforts to change structural conditions. David’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, Spencer Foundation, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He received his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and his doctorate from the University of Chicago.