Literature For Justice: Mass Incarceration
Sundays, October 13th, 20th, 27th, and November 3rd, 1-3 PM
The American criminal justice system is a massive apparatus that affects all of our lives, citizens, and non-citizens alike. In its inaugural year, the National Book Foundation’s Literature for Justice program offers a list of books that explore our prison system and the phenomenon of mass incarceration from several perspectives and within a variety of genres. Join historian and CWRU instructor Ben Sperry, who has taught in jails and prisons across Northeast Ohio, for examination of this issue through the lenses of Jimmy Santiago Baca‘s A Place to Stand (Grove Press) and Michelle Kuo‘s Reading with Patrick (Random House), two powerful memoirs that focus on prisoners’ experiences.
Ben Sperry is an educator, historian, and writer with a particular interest in race, incarceration, civil rights, the American South (especially Mississippi), and slavery. He has a background as a political campaign organizer, magazine and newspaper journalist, classroom teacher (in social studies and creative writing) in the Cleveland public schools, a college history professor, teacher in a prison setting, and freelance writer. Sperry holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Connecticut College, a master’s in liberal studies from Wesleyan University, a master’s in literature and creative writing from Bennington College, and a Ph.D. in history from Case Western Reserve University.
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and attendance is limited to 8 people.
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