Inequality and Mass Incarceration in the U.S. – Fall 2015

The United States currently imprisons more people than any other country in the world. More than two million men and women are currently locked up behind bars, a population constituting roughly one in every one hundred American adults. This series will endeavor to understand how we have arrived at this era of mass incarceration and how it has shaped and reshaped social relations within contemporary American society. In particular, this series will examine how the phenomenon of mass incarceration reflects and intensifies racial, economic, spatial, and gendered inequalities. Additionally, this series will ask: what alternative ways of understanding justice are possible?

Elizabeth Hinton

Hinton Poster FinalHarvard University

Federal Policy, Urban Policing, and the Roots of Mass Incarceration

Thursday, November 19, 2015
Stern Center, Great Room, 7 p.m.

Shedding light on the devastating outcomes and the deep racial disparities within American law enforcement and penal institutions, Hinton traces the development of the War on Crime from its origins in the War on Poverty through the rise of mass incarceration and the War on Drugs in the 1980s. Hinton’s historical account situates the punitive policies of Ronald Reagan not as a sharp policy departure but rather as the full realization of the shift towards surveillance and confinement implemented by previous administrations.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of American studies, history, philosophy and sociology. It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s semester theme, Inequality and Mass Incarceration in the United States.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

ehintonimageElizabeth Hinton is assistant professor in the Department History and the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Hinton’s research focuses on the transformation of domestic social programs and urban inequality in the 20th century United States. She is the author of a forthcoming history of the War on Crime (with Harvard University Press), as well as articles and op-eds in the Journal of American History, the Journal of Urban History, and Time.

Video of the Lecture

Doris Fuller

Doris Fuller PosterTreatment Advocacy Center, Arlington, VA

The New Asylums: Mentally Ill and Behind Bars

Thursday, November 5, 2015
Stern Center, Great Room, 7 p.m.

Live Stream Link

In the 1930s, barely one in 100 jail inmates had a serious mental illness. Today, the most conservative estimates are one in five jail inmates and even more of the prison population. With video, personal story and professional insight, Fuller will discuss the role of mental illness in turning the U.S. into the world leader in incarceration and discuss practical measures to curb this trend.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Division of Student Life, health studies and the department of psychology. It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s semester theme, Inequality and Mass Incarceration in the United States. 

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Doris-Fuller-SeriousDoris A. Fuller is chief of research and public affairs, where she conducts and directs the Treatment Advocacy Center’s original studies abd research-driven communications, including public education related to mental illness.

Fuller has co-authored several recent studies from the Treatment Advocacy Center, including:

She also co-directed the organization’s documentary short, “Mental Illness on Trial” and other video productions.

A frequent guest on national TV and radio, often quoted in print and author of many timely op-eds, Fuller is an author of books, former award-winning journalist and mother of a daughter who experienced a first psychotic break as a college student. Doris described her daughter’s struggles with severe mental illness and March 2015 suicide in a feature for the Washington Post, “How the ‘Demons’ Took My Daughter,” which has been read by millions of readers worldwide.

Doris joined the Treatment Advocacy Center in 2010 as director of communications and subsequently served as executive director for three years before being named to found and build the organization’s new Office of Research and Public Affairs.

Video of the Lecture

Nikki Jones

Nikki Jones Final PosterUniversity of California, Berkeley

How Things Fall Apart: Race and Suspicion in Police-Civilian Encounters

Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Drawing on years of field research among Black residents in urban neighborhoods, interviews with police, and videorecordings of police-civilian encounters, sociologist Nikki Jones illustrates how race, suspicion and bias shape the earliest moments of such encounters. She will also share findings from her research which reveals key interactional adjustments that could be used to improve the quality of police encounters with the public.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Churchill Fund and the departments of women’s and gender studies, educational studies, policy studies, and sociology. It is part of the Clarke Forum’s semester theme, Inequality and Mass Incarceration in the United States, and its Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

_EmilyKiyomiPhotography 06172Biography (Link to UC Berkeley Web site)

Nikki Jones is an associate professor in the Department of African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also a faculty affiliate with the Center for the Study of Law and Society. Her areas of expertise include urban ethnography, race and ethnic relations and criminology and criminal justice, with a special emphasis on the intersection of race, gender, and justice. Professor Jones has published three books, including the sole-authored Between Good and Ghetto: African American Girls and Inner City Violence (2010), published in the Rutgers University Press Series in Childhood Studies ( Her research appears in peer-reviewed journals in sociology, gender studies, and criminology. Jones’ next book, based on several years of field research in a San Francisco neighborhood, examines how African American men with criminal histories change their lives, and their place in the neighborhood once they do. Her current research draws on the systematic analysis of video records that document routine encounters between police and civilians, including young Black men’s frequent encounters with the police. Professor Jones is the past-Chair of the American Sociological Association’s Race, Gender and Class Section (2012-13). She also serves on the editorial boards of the Contexts and Feminist Criminology. Jones has received awards for her research and publications including the William T. Grant Award for Early Career Scholars (2007-12) and the New Scholar Award from the American Society of Criminology’s Division on Women and Crime (2010) and Division on People of Color and Crime (2009). Before joining the faculty at Cal Professor Jones was on faculty in the Department of Sociology at UC-Santa Barbara (from 2004-2013). She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology and Criminology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Video of the Lecture

Interview with Clarke Forum Student Project Manager Rehoboth Gesese ’17

Christopher Wildeman ’02

Wildeman Final PosterCornell University

With Comments by Lauren Porter ’06, University of Maryland

Family Life in an Era of Mass Incarceration

Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Stern Center, Great Room, 7 p.m.

This lecture will consider the implications of mass incarceration for American families, focusing especially on the consequences of men’s incarceration for their parents, partner, and progeny.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and is part of the Clarke Forum’s semester theme, Inequality and Mass Incarceration in the United States.

portrait_cjw279 from Cornell Web siteBiographies (provided by the speakers)

Christopher Wildeman is an associate professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell University. He is also currently a senior researcher at the Rockwool Foundation Research Unit in Copenhagen, Denmark (since 2015) and a visiting fellow at the Bureau of Justice Statistics in Washington, D.C. (since 2013). Prior to joining Cornell’s faculty, he was an associate professor of sociology at Yale University (from 2010-2014) and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at the University of Michigan (from 2008-2010). He received his Ph.D. in sociology and demography from Princeton University in 2008 and his B.A. in philosophy, sociology, and Spanish from Dickinson College in 2002. His interests revolve around the consequences of mass imprisonment for inequality, with emphasis on families, health, and children. He is also interested in child welfare, especially as relates to child maltreatment and the foster care system. He is the 2008 recipient of the Dorothy S. Thomas Award from the Population of America and the 2013 recipient of the Ruth Shonle Cavan Young Scholar Award from the American Society of Criminology.

 Lauren Porter (Link to University of Maryland Web site)

 Video of the Lecture

Interview with Christopher Wildeman ’02 by Julia Mercer ’18

Patricia Hill Collins – “Morgan Lecturer”

PHC Final PosterUniversity of Maryland

Intersectionality, Black Youth and Political Activism

Thursday, October 1, 2015
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium (ATS), 7 p.m.

Live Stream Link

This talk examines how intersectional frameworks shed light on new directions for anti-racist activism, especially among African American youth.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the Morgan Lecture Fund and co-sponsored by the Churchill Fund, Division of Student Life, the departments of sociology, women’s and gender studies, Africana studies, American studies, anthropology, English, history,  philosophy, and political science. It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s semester theme, Inequality and Mass Incarceration in the United States and the Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

PatriciaHillCollins_2014 Head ShotBiography (provided by the speaker)

Patricia Hill Collins is Distinguished University Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park and Charles Phelps Taft Emeritus Professor of Sociology within the Department of Africana Studies at the University of Cincinnati. Her award-winning books include Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment (1990, 2000) which received both the Jessie Bernard Award of the American Sociological Association (ASA) and the C. Wright Mills Award of the Society for the Study of Social Problems; and Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism (2004) which received ASA’s 2007 Distinguished Publication Award. She is also author of Fighting Words: Black Women and the Search for Justice (1998); From Black Power to Hip Hop: Racism, Nationalism, and Feminism (2005); Another Kind of Public Education: Race, Schools, the Media, and Democratic Possibilities (2009); The Handbook of Race and Ethnic Studies (2010) edited with John Solomos; and On Intellectual Activism (2013). Her anthology Race, Class, and Gender: An Anthology, 9th edition (2015), edited with Margaret Andersen, is widely used in undergraduate classrooms in over 200 colleges and universities.

Professor Collins has taught at several institutions, held editorial positions with professional journals, lectured widely in the United States and internationally, served in many capacities in professional organizations, and has acted as consultant for a number of community organizations. In 2008, she became the 100th President of the American Sociological Association, the first African American woman elected to this position in the organization’s 104-year history. Her next book, Intersectionality, co-authored with Sirma Bilge, will be published in 2016 as part of Polity Press’s Key Concepts Series.

Morgan Lectureship
The Morgan Lectureship was endowed by the board of trustees in 1992, in grateful appreciation for the distinguished service of James Henry Morgan of the Class of 1878, professor of Greek, dean, and president of the College. The lectureship brings to campus a scholar in residence to meet informally with individuals and class groups, and to deliver the Morgan Lecture on topics in the social sciences and humanities. Recent scholars have been Jorge Luis Borges, Francis Fukuyama, Michael Ignatieff, Samantha Power, Art Spiegelman, Sandra Steingraber and Kay Redfield Jamison.

Video of the Lecture