Dr Johanna Romer

Department of Sociology
Dr Johanna Romer



Johanna Römer is a lecturer in the Centre for Criminology and Department of Sociology at the University of Essex. Her research examines how state power and political authority are produced through the everyday interactions and experiences of persons working within and subject to criminal justice institutions. Römer’s book manuscript, Race, Care and Carceral Statecraft is an ethnography of carceral practices of care and their effects in a Catalan prison. Other projects include research on the circulation of emotion and affect in digital publics. Her work has been funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Council for European Studies, the British Academy and the Independent Social Research Foundation.


  • PhD New York University,

  • BA University of Chicago,

Research and professional activities

Conferences and presentations

Enforcing Integration? Regulating and Constructing Legality in Catalan Prisons

Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, Washington DC, United States, 1/6/2020

Rights, Regulation and Social Formations: New Directions in Legal Anthropology

American Anthropological Association Annual Meetings, American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Vancouver, Canada, 22/11/2019

Borders, Biomes and Biospheres: Policing Beyond the Urban

Invited presentation, European Society of Criminology Annual Meeting, European Society of Criminology Annual Meeting, Ghent, Belgium, 12/9/2019

Meditations on Racial Justice

Invited presentation, Transitions Program, Engaged Pluralism Initiative, Vassar College, Vassar College, 31/7/2019

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Ethnographic Explorations of the City (SC210)

  • Ethnographic Research Methods (SC277)

  • Global Security Challenges (SC561)


Journal articles (1)

Römer, J., (2019). Ambiguous publicities: Cultivating doubt at the intersection of competing genres of risk evaluation in Catalan Prisons. Punishment and Society. 21 (3), 342-363

Conferences (1)

Romer, J., (2007). La Semiótica del Discurso Jurídico

Grants and funding


Deciphering Violence: New Network Analytic Tools to Improve Hate Speech Detection Online

Independent Social Research Foundation


National Law, Transnational Justice? The Role of Legal Status in Parole Decision-Making in Catalonia, Spain

British Academy

+44 (0) 1206 872665


5A.318, Colchester Campus