Ryan Shapiro's dissertation, Bodies at War: Animals, Science, & National Security in the United States, 1899-1979, explores the history of convergent disputes over animal experimentation and national security. Employing archival and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) research, Ryan's dissertation and related work in progress examine debates over animal protection and American security from the dawn of the twentieth century to the present.
Ryan's research interests also include the policing of dissent more broadly, especially in the name of national security. Along these lines, Ryan is working on several additional mixed FOIA and archival research projects. These include a project exploring U.S. intelligence agency efforts to counter Nelson Mandela and the broader domestic and global anti-apartheid movements, as well as a project examining FBI and other intelligence agency efforts to preserve domestic surveillance capabilities while simultaneously subverting the Freedom of Information Act and related open government initiatives of the 1970s and 80s.
Ryan’s innovative Freedom of Information Act work with/against U.S. intelligence agencies is covered regularly in the press, and the FBI is currentlyarguing in court that Ryan’s dissertation FOIA research is itself a threat to national security. Ryan thanks the Bureau for this compliment.