Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson is a political theorist, lecturer (by courtesy) of political science, and a faculty tutor for PEP students. She co-teaches, with librarian Kristine Helbling, a social science methods and library research seminar in which Danforth campus undergrads are trained and serve as research assistants for PEP incarcerated students (U25 PolSci 3267 “Research in the Contemporary Academic Library: Prison Education Project Research Partnership). She served as program manager and academic advisor for the Prison Education Project from July 2016 to February 2019. 

Her primary research involves the continuing relevance of bureaucracy as a concept and the ways in which bureaucratic thinking can obscure and skew democratic political debate.  In her book project on the bureaucratic mentality in democratic theory and contemporary democracy, she investigates the history of political thought to develop her de-institutionalized concept of bureaucracy, tracing it through the work of exemplary thinkers from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including G.W.F. Hegel, Émile Durkheim, and Max Weber.  She received her PhD in Political Science from Columbia University in 2016, and prior to her arrival at Washington University she held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College and the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI).  Her major research and teaching interests include democratic theory, modern and contemporary European political thought, social theory, the history of capitalism, and nationalism.

As program manager, Hudson worked with Arts & Sciences Computing and administrators at Missouri Eastern Correctional Center in order to design and install Washington University’s computer lab and digital research center for incarcerated students, inaugurated in August 2018.  Working with Jill Edwards, Senior Project Manager in the Office of the Provost, she secured accreditation for PEP from the Higher Learning Commission, allowing PEP to award both associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs at the MECC campus.   Hudson also guided faculty members as they adapted their courses to the logistically challenging environment of the prison classroom, taught and tutored students, and oversaw the academic advising of PEP incarcerated students and corrections staff students.  She also engaged in curriculum planning and degree progress mapping, coordinated PEP courses and course materials, recruited and supervised graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants and tutors, managed PEP’s partnership with the University Library, communicated with the Missouri Department of Corrections and wardens at Missouri Eastern Correctional Center, organized PEP events in the prison and on the Danforth campus, and advocated for PEP alumni seeking employment and further educational opportunities.


Ph.D. Columbia University

M.A./M.Phil Columbia University

Diplôme/M.A. Institut d’études politiques de Paris

B.A. University of California, Los Angeles