In Punishment We Trust: The Logic and Legacy of American Punitiveness

Lecture Description

Well known are the bleak statistics of incarceration that make America the world’s leading jailer. Racial disparities frame much of the debate about the disproportionate impact of police and prisons on black and brown lives and increasingly poor, rural whites. How does history inform our present moment and help guide us to a greater cultural understanding of how we think about crime and punishment? Are we unwittingly repeating mistakes from the past? How are we supposed to balance individual accountability with social responsibility? By taking the long view, this talk reveals how so much of what defines the crisis of mass incarceration today are rooted in a set of old ideas. And that the solution to today’s problems also grow out of our examples from our history.


Crime, Violence, Incarceration General and Historiography

ALL TOPICS & TITLES: Go back to all topics and titles.

Khalil Gibran Muhammad

VIEW SPEAKER : Khalil Gibran Muhammad

More Distinguished Lectureship Program Resources