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New Course Supplement 2016

AAAS 80.09 Carceral Geographies: Explaining Mass Incarceration in the US

Why are there so many people incarcerated in the United States and why are young people across the US calling for an end to police violence, some even for the abolition of policing? Is mass incarceration an inevitable product of slavery and Jim Crow? Why has prison expansion and law and order been a rallying cry make America safe (again) precisely at moments when violent crime rates were going down?

This course is designed to explore and explain the role of surveillance, criminalization, policing to historical and contemporary US state formation and global racial capitalism. This course proceeds from the idea that carceral geographies such as prison towns, detention centers, police departments, welfare agencies, and surveillance apparatuses are spatial fixes for social, economic, and political crises. We will engage scholarship from critical prison studies, geography, gender and sexuality studies, and critical ethnic studies to understand the different dimensions and question that emerge from thinking about space, race, gender, sexuality, land, labor, and state capacity together. Students will have an opportunity to build their understanding of the historical and contemporary organization of people, places, ideas and infrastructure that makes up US carceral geographies. Student will also have a chance to familiarize themselves with the history of resistance to penal democracy. This course requires dedicated and rigorous reading. Each week we will read an entire book and analyze it in depth to create shared language and understandings about carceral geographies.


Distributive and/or World Culture


The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.