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POS 215 Race&Mass Incarceration in US

Race is at the center of so much conflict, disagreement, and violence in the US. Race has been a central formative force in American history whose categories and meanings have constantly shifted and been contested. This course is designed to interrogate the invention and development of race in America as a central nodule in the power structure and discover the ways it has been deployed, especially as it relates to the control, surveillance and incarceration of the black body, as well as other communities of color. We will begin with a historical analysis of the post emancipation convict leasing system along with a careful unpacking of the social and historical construction of race and the work it performs. We will then embark on a philosophical exploration of the relationship between the power order and what this means for how we determine what constitutes 'punishment.' The final section of the course will turn more explicitly to the use of the prison and techniques of surveillance to define, police, and terroize communities of color. (L10)