Historicizing the Carceral State: Race, Sex, and Power in Early America

Lecture Description

The penitentiary system in early America exploited racist ideologies, gender norms, sexual desire, and antipathy towards the poor to justify its existence and expansion. The use of incarceration grew as women, enslaved people, and indentured servants—those previously with no legal standing— increasingly claimed their own right to life, liberty, and happiness. In this pattern, we see a precursor to the dramatic growth of the US prison system in the last forty years. 

CATEGORIES

Crime, Violence, Incarceration Social and Cultural

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