Spring 2021

U.S. Carceral Culture

Listed in: History, as HIST-245  |  Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies, as SWAG-247


Jen Manion (Section 01)


(Offered as HIST 245 [US/TS] and SWAG 247) An overview of punishment from the Enlightenment to modern times. Topics include theories of criminality; birth of the penitentiary; growth of carceral culture; role of reform movements; relationship between slavery, abolition, and punishment; rise of criminology, eugenics, and sexology; persistence of poverty among carceral subjects; and the emergence of mass incarceration. Primary sources for consideration include newspaper articles, reform and abolition organizational records, official prison reports, and legal and sociological papers. Secondary readings will be primarily historical with some critical theories of difference and power including critical race theory, feminist theories of intersectionality, queer theory, and contemporary critical prison studies. Two class meetings per week.

Limited to 18 students. Five spaces reserved for Five College students. Spring semester. Professor Manion.

If Overenrolled: Priority to History majors, by seniority if necessary.


Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Issues of Social Justice


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2016, Fall 2018, Spring 2021