Prison
General Catalog Course Title:
Prison
Terms Offered:
Spring 2014
Course Thread: 
Human Rights
Instructor: 
Hilden, Patricia
Instructor: 
Victoria Robinson
Instructor: 
Simon, Jonathan
Instructor: 
Stoner, Jill

Prisons, and their extensions into community life like probation, parole, and aggressive policing, have become ubiquitous, even dominant institutions in the United States; however, their normality too often goes together with a sense of their naturalness as a response to crime and criminals.  This interdisciplinary course explores and challenges the logics that assume prison as a reasonable, indeed inevitable response to alarming forms of social marginality.  To do so we must extend our conversation across time periods, genres, and geographies.  Our studies will explore the spatial, ethical, and social dimensions of prison through a series of visceral, unsettling juxtapositions: "freedom" and "slavery," "torture' and 'humanity," "citizenship" and "subjugation," "confinement" and "freedom,"  "marginalization" and "inclusion," in each case explicating the ways that story making, political demagoguery, and racial, class, and sexual inequalities have wrought an untenable social condition. 

For more detailed information about classes, please visit the UC Berkeley Online Schedule of Classes.