“Mass Incarceration: Feminists Respond” Focus of FGSS Symposium Nov. 6

Lauren RubensteinOctober 19, 20152min

Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies will host its annual symposium on Nov. 6. This year’s topic is “Mass Incarceration: Feminists Respond.” The event is free and open to the public.

“As Angela Davis has written, state punishment is not marginal, but central, to feminist concerns,” said Victoria Pitts-Taylor, professor and chair of Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies, of the program’s theme. “To begin with, the number of incarcerated women has been growing rapidly, with over one million women in the U.S. in jail, prison, on probation or on parole, and with black women the fastest growing group of those imprisoned. But beyond this, the practices of intensive policing and mass incarceration of people of all genders are devastating whole communities, especially those of poor people of color. We can better understand policing and state violence when we see its links with patriarchy, racism, classism, and other systematic forms of oppression. And feminists must openly resist the systemic oppression and state violence of the American prison industrial complex.”

The panel discussion, held from 2-4 p.m. in PAC 001, will include Ruth Wilson Gilmore, professor of earth and environmental sciences at The Graduate Center ­– CUNY, and Joy James, professor of the humanities at Williams College. Lori Gruen, chair and the William Griffin Professor of Philosophy, will moderate the panel. Gruen is also professor of environmental studies, professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies, and chairs the faculty advisory committee for Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education.

The program is also sponsored by the Office of Equity and Inclusion, and Ethics in Society.