The Speculative Archive of Incarceration

Lecture Description

Prison is more than a place of punishment: it is also a site of knowledge production. From sentencing reports and parole files to lawsuits, the prison is constantly producing and ordering artifacts. It is, in other words, an archive. The archive is shaped both by the government, which oversees prisons, and by incarcerated people themselves, whose diverse forms of resistance generates a parallel counter-archive. This talk explores the archival dimensions of prison, with particular attention to the archives that incarcerated people generate. Using the digital archive Washington Prison History Project as a case study, this talk shows how prisoners have turned their conditions of confinement into a space to imagine freedom–a speculative archive.

CATEGORIES

Archives and Bibliography Civil Rights

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