English 90po. Prison and Performance

Instructor: Elizabeth Phillips
Day & Time: Tuesdays & Thursdays 10:30-11:45am
Course Website

This seminar will explore the history and philosophy of prison with particular reference to the role of literature and art in rehabilitation and decarceration. We will study plays, poetry, and performances that depict incarceration, as well as works written and developed by incarcerated or formerly incarcerated individuals. We will discuss the efficacy of prison arts programming and explore themes of justice, racism, and identity as they relate to incarceration across a diverse set of texts from sociology, performance studies, autobiography, and psychology. Authors include Angela Davis, Michelle Alexander, Anna Deavere Smith, Michel Foucault, Suzan-Lori Parks, Samuel Beckett, Rena Fraden, Naomi Wallace, George Jackson, and others.