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Derik Smith, 'The Prison Industrial Complex'

Aug 30, 2020

Sunday, August 30
2:00 pm Eastern Time (11 am Pacific)

For a half-century now, the US has undertaken an historically unprecedented experiment with human incarceration. Our society has organized itself around a system of punishment that now locks away millions of people. As most know, the members of the human family that we imprison usually come from the least resourced communities, and from Black and Hispanic communities. This panel discussion will consider contemporary incarceration practices in the US, and how these practices might be supplanted by those who believe in the oneness of humanity, and the need to establish just relationships between all people.

Panelist info forthcoming.



Derik Smith

Dr. Derik Smith is a professor in the Department of Literature at Claremont McKenna College. His work focuses on African American literary culture, with a particular interest in poetry. He also teaches and writes about representations of blackness in American filmic and musical culture. His 2018 monograph, Robert Hayden In Verse: New Histories of African American Poetry and the Black Arts Era, recently won the College Language Association’s annual book award. His current scholarship focuses on the poetics of rap, and the rise of the genre during the final decades of the twentieth century, as well as the connection between critical race studies and the Bahá’í Faith. Smith regularly teaches courses in American prisons and nurtures activist interests in prison studies and pedagogy. He and his family live in Southern California.

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