Skip to main content

Although we are excited to have our fellows back on campus and working in Byerly Hall, Harvard Radcliffe Institute programs remain primarily virtual as we continue to monitor the coronavirus pandemic. See Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Updates.

Fellowship / Fellows

Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve

  • 2021–2022
  • Social Sciences
  • Elizabeth S. and Richard M. Cashin Fellow
  • Brown University
Portrait of Nicole Gonzales Van Cleve
Photo courtesy of Nicole Gonzales Van Cleve

Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at Brown University and an affiliated scholar with the American Bar Foundation, in Chicago, Illinois.

Gonzalez Van Cleve will spend her fellowship year completing a study of how racial stigma embeds in the seemingly race-blind, fact-finding stage of criminal investigations. She focuses specifically on false confessions in 98 wrongful conviction cases from Chicago and looks at “narrative contamination,” or extra-legal narratives created by police and prosecutors to incite racial animus with juries. 

Gonzalez Van Cleve is the author of Crook County: Racism and Injustice in America's Largest Criminal Court (Stanford Law Books, 2016), which won numerous awards, including the American Sociological Association’s Distinguished Scholarly Book Award. Her most recent book, The Waiting Room (Amazon Original Stories, 2018), is a collaboration with the Pulitzer Prize–winning team at the Marshall Project. Her written commentary has appeared in the Atlantic, CNN, Crain’s Chicago Business, NBC News, and the New York Times. Her legal commentary has been featured on CNN, NBC News, NPR, and MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show. She is a native Chicagoan, a first-generation college graduate, and a proud alumna of Northwestern University (BA, MA, PhD).

Our 2021–2022 Fellows

01 / 09

News & Ideas

Back to top