Colin Dayan is Professor of English, Robert Penn Warren Professor in the Humanities, and Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University. She works in prison law; the legal and religious history of the Americas; nineteenth-century American, French and English literary history; Caribbean Literature and African American Studies. After receiving her Ph.D. from the City University of New York Graduate Center in 1980, she taught at Princeton University, Yale University, the City University of New York, the University of Arizona, and the University of Pennsylvania. The recipient of numerous awards including Danforth, NEH and Guggenheim fellowships she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2012.