Assistant Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Fran Buntman is from South Africa and has lived in Washington DC since 2000. Her degrees are from the University of the Witwatersrand, Brandeis University, and the University of Texas at Austin. Her primary teaching and research interests focus on prisons, punishment, law and other institutions of power, and resistance to power. These themes are core to her book, Robben Island and Prisoner Resistance to Apartheid (Cambridge, 2003) and two recent journal articles “Prison and law, repression and resistance: Colonialism and beyond” (2019), and, co-authored with Antwan Jones and Hiromi Ishizawa (2023), “The Mental health consequences of parental incarceration.” A faculty member at the Department of Sociology at GWU since 2002, she is currently working on a number of research projects, including the legal consciousness of incarcerated people.
Professor Buntman works closely with students, alum, and in the community. She centers committed teaching and mentoring students along with a pedagogy that integrates theory and practice, including through public engagement and advancing student-led policy change. She loves teaching and supporting students through their learning journeys. Until recently, she was the Director of GW’s Law and Society Minor which she helped to found. Dr. Buntman currently serves as Sociology’s Director of Graduate Studies. In 2021 she was the Faculty Speaker for the MA Celebration and in 2023 was awarded the CCAS Award for Excellence in the Mentoring of Master's Students. She is the proud mother of two college students.