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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2023-24

ENGL 75.03 Beyond the Prison: Premodern Carceral Studies

What came before the prison, and what could come after? This course will serve as an introduction to some of the methods and concerns of contemporary Critical Prison Studies, as well as a deep dive into the historical rise of carceral institutions in England and the United States, as seen from the perspective of incarcerated writers, and as reimagined in literary texts. Famous examples such as the prison epistles of Oscar Wilde will be set alongside more recent rediscoveries, such as the manuscripts of Austin Reed. Readings from Angela Davis, Michel Foucault, and Nicole Fleetwood (among others) will frame our comparative inquiry; classics such as Robinson Crusoe will be cast in a different light. Recurring topics will include writings from confinement as genre; the importance of print culture inside and outside the prison; the relation between carceral institutions and literary genres such as the convict narrative, epistle, early realist novel, and lyric poem. Throughout we will pay particular attention to how literary writing has been a recurring means for thinking outside the confines of a given political discourse, while we also reconsider the links between confinement and imagination, rehabilitation and subjectivity, art and liberation, then and now.

Degree Requirement Attributes

Dist:LIT; WCult:W

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.

Department-Specific Course Categories

Senior Seminar: No Course Group