Carceral Media

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: Culture & Media

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students (with Restrictions)
Carceral Media
Spring 2024
Taught By: Josh Scannell
Section: A

CRN: 14636

Credits: 3

Systems of policing and incarceration are at the very heart of the United States' social organization. Critical concepts like "the carceral state" and "carceral capitalism" point to the ways that our systems of government, labor, and leisure depends on the mass policing and detention of surplussed people. The Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted and combatted the structural racism that sits at the heart of the carceral project. Calls to reform American policing and mass incarceration are often premised on the introduction of media technologies like body worn cameras that are imagined to improve transparency and accountability for carceral agencies and to return them to a supposedly original mission of keeping communities safe. This class critically interrogates these calls by looking at the central role that media already plays in the practice and maintenance of the carceral state. Rather than take claims of transparency at face value, we will look at how sophisticated technologies like facial recognition, predictive policing, and risk assessment work in tandem with popular media and "common sense" discourse to reproduce structural violences and inequality while increasing the role and funding of security agencies. But, rather than settle for critique, the class will also take up a mission: to engage what Ruha Benjamin calls the "liberatory imagination," and study towards a world without police, prisons, and the media that makes them possible. To do this, we will think across disciplines and practices and will consider a range of work including scholarship, activist organizing, speculative fiction, art and design. Students will be required to provide written responses to course units, participate in weekly class meetings, and pitch, develop, and present a final original project (which can include written research or creative practice) that critically interrogates carceral media. [Tracks C, M]

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: Culture & Media (CAM)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 9

Add/Drop Deadline: February 4, 2024 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 16, 2024 (Tuesday)

Seats Available: No

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 6:48am EDT 6/17/2024

Meeting Info:
Days: Wednesday
Times: 4:00pm - 5:50pm
Building: 6 East 16th Street
Room: 611
Date Range: 1/24/2024 - 5/8/2024