University of Rochester undergraduates who want to learn more about mass incarceration may be interested in these upcoming courses. (List updated every semester.)
ANT 330 / REL 230: Cultural Politics of Prison Towns
(Instructors: Kristin Doughty and Joshua Dubler)
Rochester sits in one of the world’s most explicitly carceral landscapes, with more than a dozen state prisons within a 90 min drive. This co-taught course is a collaborative ethnographic research project designed to examine how the presence of prisons in towns around Rochester reflects and shapes the political, economic, and cultural lives of those who live in the region. Students will be introduced to methods and practices of ethnography and conduct firsthand research on the cultural politics of prison towns. Through assigned reading, students will learn about the history, sociology, and cultural logics of Rochester and the wider region, and of mass incarceration. What does a prison mean for a person living near one? How does the presence of prisons shape people’s notions of justice, citizenship, and punishment? How do these nearby but largely invisible institutions shape the ways that we live in Rochester? Recommended prior courses: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology or Incarceration Nation.