Why study the humanities in prison? Why teach them?  What is the value of prison humanities programs for communities both inside and outside of prisons?  What humanistic texts and skills do we teach? This day-long symposium, hosted by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center of the University of California, Santa Barbara, will explore the building of intellectual communities across systemic divides through the humanities. The symposium will include the voices of educators and formerly incarcerated individuals and will be of interest to those involved in public humanities, social justice, transformative pedagogy and civic engagement.

Free and open to the public.

Sponsored by the IHC’s Crossings + Boundaries series and the Hester and Cedric Crowell Endowment.


9:00–10:45      Introductory Remarks
John Majewski, Michael Douglas Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts (UCSB)
Panel: Teaching the Classics
Emilio Capettini (UCSB), Michael Morgan (UCSB), Nancy Rabinowitz (Hamilton College), Jessica Wright (USC)
Moderator: Dorota Dutsch (UCSB)

11:00–12:00      Panel: Teaching Literature and the Arts
Kevin Bott (Wagner College), Susan Derwin (UCSB)

12:00–12:30      Panel: IHC Graduate Teaching Fellows on teaching “Foundations in the Humanities”
Nicole Dib, Olga Faccani, Gena Goodman, Jasmine Kelekay, Adam Morrison,  Cierra Raine Sorin
Moderator: Rachel Levinson-Emley (UCSB)

12:30–1:30      Lunch

1:30–3:00      Panel: Supporting Transition
Sister Mary Sean Hodges (Archdiocese of Los Angeles);Daniel Adamik, Alfredo H. Cruz, Tony Kim, Gary Thomas (Partnership for Re-Entry Program)
Moderator: Susan Derwin (UCSB)

3:00–3:15      Coffee break

3:15–4:30      Keynote: “Transformative Justice and Prison Education”
Kaia Stern, Cofounder and Director of the Prison Studies Project (Harvard University)

4:30–5:30      Reception