Prisons, Punishment & Global (In)Justice
Schools of Public Engagement: Global, Urban, & Environmental
The United States is living through an era of mass incarceration, with nearly 7 million people, mostly poor persons of color, in prisons, jails, or under some form of carceral surveillance. Is the US out of step with the rest of the world or is this part of a global trend? How did the US end up being one of the world’s largest jailor of people in the “land of the free”, with over 2 million locked inside walls and cages? This course examines how this situation came to be, what it is, and the effects it has on various levels of society. It asks whether the role of the prison as the primary mechanism of punishment is still a valid form of justice, in the United States and as a global phenomenon. Students will become familiar with the “through lines” that intersect in the modern prison—race, class, policy—as well as the various philosophical concepts that surround the issue—justice, harm, crime, revenge, and forgiveness. We look transnationally to understand “the prison” as a global phenomenon: how does deportation and detention of migrants, or camps for refugees, fit into the age of mass incarceration? How are carceral practices influenced by the Geneva Conventions or exceptional spaces such as GITMO? Students will consider alternatives to the prison as punishment, from reform and rehabilitation to abolition altogether. The course will consider the work of Angela Davis, Michelle Alexander, Loïc Wacquant, Marie Gottschalk, George Jackson, Michel Foucault, and Lisa Guenther, amongst others. *A Rights, Justice & Governance (RJG) Cluster course.* This course counts toward the Ethnicities and Race minor.
College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)
Department: Global, Urban, & Environmental (GLUE)
Campus: New York City (GV)
Course Format: Seminar (R)
Max Enrollment: 18
Add/Drop Deadline: September 11, 2023 (Monday)
Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 19, 2023 (Sunday)
Seats Available: Yes
* Seats available but reserved for a specific population.
* 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: 4:02pm EST 12/5/2023