Beyond Prisons: Resistance, Reform, Abolition

Police and prison reform have become bipartisan issues in the United States. But this emerging consensus follows historical and ongoing movements to resist policing and prison—from the Black Panther Party, to the prison abolition movement, to the Movement for Black Lives. This course investigates recurring themes in prison and police resistance since the 1960s: the origins of policing and prisons in colonialism and slavery; the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, and disability in both punishment and resistance; theories of politics in captivity; and visions of freedom, justice, and democracy beyond police and prisons. Throughout the course, we will evaluate the strengths and limits of current reform initiatives in light of these readings. Authors may include George Jackson, Assata Shakur, Angela Davis, contemporary prison writers, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Mariame Kaba, Andrea Ritchie, Victoria Law, and Dean Spade.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: One course in POL4 or American Studies, (specific courses in Africana Studies, History, Sociology, or Women's and Gender Studies may apply).

Instructor: Grattan

Distribution Requirements: REP - Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall