Michelle Velasquez-Potts

Dissertation Title

Technologies of Incapacitation: US Torture Regimes and the Captive Body

Research Interests

political theory, science and technology studies, feminist and queer theory, critical ethnic studies, critical prison studies, visual cultures, hunger striking, political protest, the weaponization of the body, ethics of pain and suffering.


Michelle is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Rhetoric at UC Berkeley. Her dissertation, Technologies of Incapacitation: US Torture Regimes and the Captive Body focuses on what she refers to as “carceral vivisections,” technologies and practices deployed by state actors that seek to literally and figuratively open up the body in order to discipline, manage, and punish incarcerated people. Michelle’s work foregrounds the medicalized dimension of carceral subjection by asking: how do embodied technologies such as the feeding tube function as a new kind of torture that mediates the corporeal and … read more