Ricarda Hammer, Ph.D.

Profile Photo
Successful Defense: June 9, 2021
Graduate Student
A.M. Brown University
Graduate Diploma, School of Oriental and African Studies
B.A. University of Cambridge

Research Interests

Empire and Colonialism; Global and Transnational Sociology; Race and Ethnicity; Knowledge and Expertise; Historical Sociology; Political Sociology; Cultural Sociology; Social Theory; Historical and Ethnographic Methods


Ricarda is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at Brown University. Combining global, political, cultural and historical sociology with the sociology of race, her research investigates why, despite discourses of equality in contemporary European liberal democracies, postcolonial immigrants inhabit a space of contentious belonging. She argues that to understand the relationship between racialization – the colorline – and nation formation, we need to center Europe’s colonial histories, and the simultaneous construction of race alongside democratic struggles. Through relational analyses of metropolitan and colonial politics, her research asks: Who counts as human in democratic history? How has colonial expertise shaped the idea of the rights-bearing person and contemporary citizenship laws? This work demonstrates that to understand contemporary hegemonic national narratives, we need to center the historical legacies of the founding contradiction of freedom and colonial slavery, and its aftermath.

Ricarda’s work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Centre for the Study of Slavery and Justice, the Watson Institute for International Studies, the Cogut Center for the Humanities, and the Brown University Graduate School and has won awards from the ASA sections on War, Peace and Social Conflict and Political Economy of the World System. Ricarda’s work has been published in Sociology of Race and EthnicityPolitical Power and Social Theory, and Teaching Sociology.


Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice
Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences
Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Watson Institute for International Studies