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Grant number: AQ-248223-16

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New School (New York, NY 10011-8871)
Claire Bond Potter (Project Director: September 2015 to present)

NEH Enduring Questions Course on Incarceration

The development and teaching of a new undergraduate course on the purpose of incarceration.

With support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, beginning in the spring of 2017, students at The New School will be able to ask the enduring question: What is the purpose of incarceration? Secondary questions explored in the course will include: What have been goals of incarceration across time, cultures, and states? Are prisons similar in their purpose to other forms of captivity and punishment? How does incarceration punish, on whose behalf, and who benefits? How does one become a prisoner, and make sense of the path to, and out of, a state of incarceration? Can a prison, jail, or concentration camp also be a privileged site for understanding human nature and more cultivating a persuasive ethical stance? Intersecting with the NEH’s initiative, "The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square," through history, literature, philosophy and geography, our question will address a growing debate in the United States about the significance of its incarceration policies.

Project fields:
History, General

Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants

Education Programs

Total amounts:
$19,980 (approved)
$19,980 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2016 – 8/31/2018