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McMaster Intersession


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INSPIRE 3II3 C03 - Anti Carceral Imaginings

Offering: Intersession 2024

This course explores the histories and ongoing impacts of the carceral state in shaping everyday understandings of social issues and the institutions that we work within. Via undertaking a critical, intersectional, and historiographical approach, we will challenge the tangible and intangible discourses of carcerality that shape multidisciplinary praxis and extend beyond the confines of police and prisons, including in education, research, healthcare, social services, sciences, and technology. This course will undertake an explicitly anti-carceral perspective, which centres a critical understanding of police and prisons and imagines a future free from punitive practices of surveillance, arrest, and incarceration. In tandem with our efforts to unpack and challenge the carceral state, we will focus on anti-carceral and abolitionist (re)imaginings, thus exploring the central questions of how our ideas, languages, knowledges, approaches, institutions, and disciplines would operate if the carceral state and its discourses did not exist or were eradicated. This work will be rooted in its origins of Black feminisms, decoloniality, queer and trans liberation, disability justice, and anti-imperialist scholarship and activism. While much of this work may seem daunting, pessimistic, or disruptive, we will centre the inherently hopeful vision of abolition in imagining a future we have not seen yet. Students will be encouraged to explore what anti-carceral (re)imagining means to them in their personal, academic, and forthcoming professional lives. This course will also endeavour to undertake an anti-carceral approach to its delivery, facilitation, and evaluation, where students will be invited to imagine what anti-carcerality might look like in the classroom, in assignments, and in assessment.

Pre requisites: None