Professor Dreisinger earned her PhD in English from Columbia University, where she specialised in American and African-American studies. Her book, Near Black: White to Black Passing in American Culture (University of Massachusetts Press, 2008) was featured in the New York Times Book Review and on National Public Radio.
She is the founder and Academic Director of John Jay’s Prison-to-College Pipeline program, which offers college courses and reentry planning to incarcerated men at Otisville Correctional Facility in upstate New York. Professor Dreisinger also moonlights as a journalist and critic, writing about Caribbean culture, race-related issues, music and pop culture for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Village Voice and Wall Street Journal, among other outlets; she regularly writes and produces on-air segments for National Public Radio. T
ogether with Oscar-nominated filmmaker Peter Spirer, Professor Dreisinger produced and wrote the documentaries Black & Blue: Legends of the Hip-Hop Cop, which investigates the New York Police Department’s monitoring of the hip-hop industry, and Rhyme & Punishment, about hip-hop and the prison industrial complex. Professor Dreisinger is currently working on a book about mass incarceration in a global context.