he American Prison in Literature and in Popular Culture

“Incarcerated Scarface: The American Prison in Literature and in Popular Culture” examines literature produced by inmates and films about the American penal system. The course will explore representations of the penitentiary from the 1960’s to Present (with some discussion of earlier representations). We will examine the way incarceration has been imagined in American popular culture (through music, television, and film) and contrast those representations with the writings of famous intellectual convicts, such as Malcolm X, Eldridge Cleaver, Etheridge Knight, and Reginald Dwayne Betts. The course will address fundamental inequities and injustices in the prison industrial complex and will examine issues of race, class, and gender in the American prison.

Literature Essay (5 pages) : this essay can address any topic related to the books we read in class. If you have trouble coming up with ideas, let me know. Note: by the time this essay is due, you may not have read all the books in the course. If you want to discuss one of the later books in this essay, you must read ahead


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