Incarceration's Witnesses: American Prison Writing - Hamilton College

edX
Online

Free

Important information

  • Course
  • Online
  • When:
    Flexible
Description

Study how first-person testimonial by incarcerated people writing about their experience inside—prisoner witness—can help us in understanding the American prison system. With this course you earn while you learn, you gain recognized qualifications, job specific skills and knowledge and this helps you stand out in the job market.

Important information

Requirements: None.

Venues

Where and when

Starts Location
Flexible
Online

What you'll learn on the course

Writing
American
American prison
American prison system
Testimonial

Course programme

The U.S. incarcerates a larger number and percentage of its own citizens than any nation on earth: larger than China, Russia, Cuba, or Iran. American ex-offenders are arrested again at a rate of 67% within three years, and 75% within five years of release. This course looks inside U.S. prisons, through the history of literary witness produced by incarcerated people. This history will help us to understand the mass-scale prison’s rise, its day-to-day practices, and why it fails so badly at the task of rehabilitation. Through prison witness, we may hope to begin to understand what is needed to make the U.S. prison a more socially constructive institution. Among other texts, we will read and discuss Fourth City: Essays from the Prison in America, The (online) American Prison Writing Archive, hosted and made possible by Hamilton College's Digital Humanities Initiative, and come to a sense of the moral weight that prison witness must carry in any truly democratic debate on the criminal justice system.

Additional information

Doran Larson Doran Larson is Professor of English at Hamilton College. He has led The Attica Writer’s Workshop, inside Attica Correctional Facility, since 2006. He is the founder of the Attica-Genesee Teaching Project, which began delivering college-credit courses inside Attica in January 2011; and of the Mohawk Consortium College-in-Prison program, which began delivering college-credit courses inside Mohawk Correctional Facility in January 2014.