Tues 1.07.14 | Remote Detention

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Asylum seekers and migrants without papers are often arrested and taken to detention facilities purposely sited far from population centers -- and sometimes on remote islands. Alison Mountz discusses US, Australian, and other national policies to disperse and isolate detainees, often hiding their location from family members and potential advocates. She also describes efforts to find and assist detainees. Also, Matt Mitchelson explains the broader project of the volume to which Mountz contributed.

Tues 12.31.13 | A Look Back

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Several highlights from 2013, including David Graeber on private property; Priya Kandaswamy on the politics of "deservingness"; Ron Glass on Paulo Freire's radical pedagogy; Rashad Shabazz on prisons and disease; and Eduardo Galeano.

Wed 11.27.13 | Life Without Parole; Native Struggles

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More than 3,200 people in the US are serving life without parole for nonviolent offenses. Jessica Henry takes issue with what she calls the "unjustified and almost commonplace imposition" of these kinds of sentences. Also, Tony Platt discusses efforts to repatriate Native American remains that were excavated over a period of almost 200 years.

Wed 10.23.13 | Angela Davis on Feminism and Prison Abolition

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Angela Davis, a radical feminist and a leading advocate for prison abolition, works at the intersection of many issues. In a talk she gave at the University of Chicago, Davis brought up race, institutional violence, gender nonconformity, Palestine, trans politics, and the importance of subverting ideological norms.

Wed 6.26.13 | What Prisons Say About Us

Terry Kupers

Terry Kupers, Prison Madness: The Mental Health Crisis Behind Bars and What We Must Do About It Jossey-Bass, 1999

Sabo, Kupers, and London, eds., Prison Masculinities Temple U. Press, 2001

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Why are so many people in prison in this country, and why are those behind bars treated so badly? Structural factors -- historical, social, political, even psychological -- were explored in a conversation Richard Lichtman had with Terry Kupers. Kupers emphasized both our habit of categorizing people and what he calls the criminalization of dissent.

Wed 4.24.13 | Prisons and the Politics of Disease

Loyd, Mitchelson & Burridge, eds., Beyond Walls and Cages: Prisons, Borders, and Global CrisisU. of Georgia Press, 2012

Journal of Prisoners on Prisons

Tom Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia: Shipwreck at Shotgun Players

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Prisons and jails seal people off from their communities; they are zones of isolation and containment. That's a common view, and one that Rashad Shabazz contests. He argues that prisons are in fact porous in a way that threatens the lives of many people living in poor neighborhoods and communities of color. Shabazz describes what he calls forced internal migration and the politics of HIV/AIDS.

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