Joshua L. Crutchfield is a scholar of 20th century Black freedom movements, intellectual history and carceral studies. He is a PhD candidate in the African and African Diaspora Studies Department at the University of Texas at Austin where he’s working on his dissertation project titled, “Imprisoned Black Women Intellectuals: Mae Mallory, Angela Davis, Assata Shakur, Safiya Bukhari and the Politics of Abolition, 1955-1983.”
Crutchfield’s scholarship has appeared in publications such as The Black Scholar, Ethnic and Third World Review of Books, The Austin Chronicle, and in the African American Intellectual Historical Society’s award-winning blog “Black Perspectives.”
Crutchfield is also a budding digital humanist. In 2015, he and Aleia Brown co-founded #BlkTwitterstorians, a digital humanities project that connects, supports, and affirms the scholarship of Black historians and academics on Twitter. In addition, his scholarship employs digital methods to visualize prison abolitionists’ language usage in his paper titled, “Text Mining The Abolitionist: Critical Resistance, Counter-Hegemonic Definitions, and Building the Case for Abolition.”
Crutchfield’s community activism drives his scholarship. In 2015, he and a determined cadre of activists co-founded Black Lives Matter Nashville, a community-based group that organizes to end state-sanctioned violence against black people in Nashville.
In 2021, Crutchfield was awarded the Harry Ransom Center’s inaugural UT-Austin fellowship and joined "Black Perspectives" as an assistant editor. In 2022, Crutchfield's research received support from the Carrie Chapman Center for Women in Politics.
He currently resides in Austin, TX with his partner Tiffany.