Day Seven: February 9



  • Here's the citizenmedia global blogging pamphlet that I mentioned in class on Monday. 
  • Handing out the Sanger reading for Monday. We are also watching The pill

Today, we are talking about excerpts from Ruth Wilson Gilmore's Golden Gulag and prisons.  

What is to be done?
How/why is this a feminist issue?

Much work has been done on theorizing about this problem as the prison industrial complex. Here's a mapping of this concept and how activists/theorists understand the prison industrial complex.

I thought we could also discuss this issue in relation to the recent prison protest in Georgia. Here is a list of the prisoners' demands. In this clip, with the prison activist Elaine Browne, many issues related to the Gilmore reading are raised.

  • What is the problem with prisons?
  • What sorts of solutions are these prisoners attempting to create?
  • What sorts of questions should we be asking/discussions should we be having?
Key Passages from Gilmore 

on DEHUMANIZATION: Dehumanization names the deliberate, as well as they mob-frenzied, ideological displacements central to any group's ability to annihilate another in the name of territory, wealth, ethnicity, religion. Dehumanization is also a necessary factor in the acceptance that millions of people (sometimes including oneself) should spend part or all of their lives in cages (243). 

on SCHOLAR ACTIVISM: the questions and analyses driving this book came from the work encountered in everyday activism "on the ground." However, the direction of research does not necessarily follow every lead proposed from the grassroots, nor do the findings necessarily reinforce community activists' closely held hunches about how the world works. On the contrary, in scholarly research, answers are only as good as the further questions they provoke, while for activists, answers are as good as the tactics they make possible (27).

on POWER: Power is not a thing but rather a capacity composed of active and changing relationships enabling a person, group, or institution to compel others to do things they would not do on their own (248). 

Here's the information about Gilmore's talk this Friday:


Please join us for an exciting talk by Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the City University of New York Graduate Center. She is the author of Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California (University of California Press, 2007). Gilmore will present a talk on "'Gender Responsive' Prison Expansion: The Case of California." A small reception will follow the talk.

DATE: Friday, February 11, 2011
TIME: Talk starts at 4:00 p.m., followed by a small reception at 5:00 p.m.
LOCATIONHubert H. Humphrey Center, Cowles Auditorium

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