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Fall 2019 Comparative Literature & Society UN3980 section 001
Abolition: A Social Justice Practicum

Call Number 18204
Day & Time
M 4:20pm-7:00pm
To be announced
Points 3
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required None
Instructors Bernard Harcourt
Alexis Hoag
Method of Instruction Classroom
Course Description This course will explore the social justice road to punitive abolition—to the abolition of capital punishment and the dominant punitive punishment paradigm in the United States. It will investigate how abolition of the death penalty might be achieved in this country, but also what it might mean to imagine abolition in the context of policing, of the prison, and also of punishment more broadly.
The United States incarcerates more of its own than any other country in the world and than any other civilization in history. With over 2,600 inmates on death row, 2.2 million people behind bars, another 5 million people on probation or parole, and over 70 million people in the FBI’s criminal record database, this country now operates a criminal justice system of unparalleled punitiveness. The burden of this system has fallen predominantly on poor communities of color. In fact, in some striking ways, this country’s criminal justice system and reliance on mass incarceration have replaced chattel slavery. As Bryan Stevenson explains, “Slavery didn’t end in 1865. It just evolved.”
This course will explore how the country can move from a punitive paradigm to a new paradigm that favors instead education and well-being. It will investigate: (1) how to chart a social justice path toward abolition of the death penalty; (2) how to reimagine the criminal justice system so that it is no longer based on a punitive paradigm; and (3) what it would mean to imagine abolition more broadly of policing and punishment.
Web Site Vergil
Department Comparative Literature and Society, Institute for
Enrollment 8 students (8 max) as of 4:04PM Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Status Full
Subject Comparative Literature & Society
Number UN3980
Section 001
Division Interfaculty
Campus Morningside
Note Instructor permission required for this course.
Section key 20193CPLS3980W001

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SIS update 02/25/20 16:04    web update 02/25/20 21:19