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Sunday, October 30 • 10:30am - 12:00pm
#s5a: Negotiating Social Justice through Digital Engagement

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‘It’s a Revolving Door’: Rethinking the Borders of Carceral Spaces
Vanessa Massaro (Bucknell University)

This paper explores the use of digital scholarship to understand the porous boundaries of the prison. I argue that the boundaries of a carceral landscape must be expanded to include the neighborhoods of incarceration. The consequences of an ever expanding prison industrial complex, including its perpetuation of racism and the “warehousing” of a surplus population are not distributed evenly across people and places. Rather, the experience of the prison industrial complex is uneven, impacting some communities much more than others. Yet, little work on the human experience of incarceration has considered the carceral experiences of the places that supply prisoners in the US. Specifically, this paper shows how neighborhoods like Grays Ferry, where most of the population is poor, African-American and under correctional supervision, are part of carceral space. Grays Ferry is one of many neighborhoods where the places and practices of incarceration extend beyond the prison walls to affect everyday life.  This paper builds on scholarship that exposes the expanding importance of the incarceration-business within a wider national and international context of militarization and prison-industrialization. My work builds upon this literature to show how incarceration works into the daily life and community spaces in inner city Philadelphia. In so doing, the paper draws on my ongoing use of digital scholarship tools to study the expansion of carceral spaces beyond bounded institutions and demonstrates how these spaces materialize through daily practice within the communities most affected by the criminalization and policing of the informal economy.

Seeking Social Justice in the Digital Age: A Praxis-Oriented Approach to Community-Based Learning and Offender Reentry
Stephen Barnard (St. Lawrence University)

This presentation explores the pedagogy and praxis of a digital, sociological approach to community-based learning (CBL).  Through a close examination of experiences planning and teaching a course tailored to fit the needs of a county jail, I demonstrate a model for teaching CBL that serves the community as well as the students.  After reviewing the process of conducting a needs-assessment and designing programming appropriate for the cooperating institution, I discuss strategies for crafting appropriate course curricula.  The combination of individual (reflective blogging and experiential research) and collaborative assignments (community improvement project, group discussion facilitations, and presentations) provides a diverse yet sequenced set of assessments, which approach community engagement from a variety of angles.  The success of this CBL approach is shown through examples from students’ reflective blog posts as well as feedback from members of the cooperating institution.


Karen M Morin

Bucknell University


Stephen Barnard

St. Lawrence University

Vanessa Massaro

Bucknell University

Sunday October 30, 2016 10:30am - 12:00pm
Walls Lounge 2nd Floor, ELC

Attendees (14)