William Staples

Professor of Sociology
Primary office:


Dr. Staples has been a commercial fisherman, taxicab driver, plumber’s apprentice, and pizza chef. He joined the KU faculty in 1989. He is currently the 2013 E. Jackson Baur Professor of Sociology and Founding Director of the Surveillance Studies Research Center at the University of Kansas. He is the author of five books and dozens of articles and chapters. His book “Castles of Our Conscience” examined the connection between the rise of the bureaucratic state and the emergence of the prison, poorhouse and asylum. His most recent work is a forthcoming second edition of his “Everyday Surveillance: Vigilance and Visibility in Postmodern Life,” considered a foundational work in the interdisciplinary field of surveillance studies. When he is not teaching and writing, he likes to cook, travel, listen to the blues, and watch birds.


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