Vic Overdorf is a scholar and teacher of queer history and the carceral state. Vic focuses specifically on how medical institutions interact with the prison system to create discourses and environments of gendered subjugation.

Vic received their PhD in Gender Studies with a concentration in History from Indiana University Bloomington in 2023. They received their MA in Gender Studies from Indiana University Bloomington, and their BA in History and Gender Studies from Butler University. Vic joins Rice after serving as a Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Butler University.

While at Rice, Vic will advance their book project, Queer Alcatraz, which examines a population of queer prisoners at Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary and the institutional networks that facilitated their incarceration and subsequent abuse. The project repositions Alcatraz’s historical memory from being a prison for the “worst of the worst” criminals, to revealing its more pernicious use as an intentional site of queer incarceration and psychological experimentation. Queer Alcatraz ultimately argues that Alcatraz served as a space where discourse about homosexuality was both created and violently embodied for the seventy-five men who were incarcerated there due to their perceived queerness. Vic will also begin work on a second project examining the historic use of psychiatric solitary confinement as a carceral technology in the management of queer prisoners.

Vic’s work has been supported by the American Men’s Studies Association, Indiana University, and Butler University, and they have published in the Journal of Feminist Scholarship. They are currently working to develop a series of workshops on decarceral pedagogies in the classroom.


PhD, Gender Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington

MA, Gender Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington

BA, History and Gender Studies, Butler University


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