I can point you to mountains of research about prisons. I can also recommend at least a dozen Netflix documentaries, and highlight a handful of radical activists and scholars. There’s a lot of intellectual work done about prison. But what about intellectual work done in prison?
- First, in the opening essay, host Gordon Katic discusses the long history of radical prison writing. From Thoreau to Gramsci, MLK, Oscar Wilde, Eugene Debs, Emma Goldman, and even Wittgenstein.
- Next (@5:36), Chandra Bozelko served 6 years, three months, and 11 days in a women’s prison in Connecticut. While inside, she started an award-winning newspaper column. She tells us what writing did for her while inside, and what everyday prison intellectualism really looks like.
- Then (@42:30), Justin Piché edits one of the most amazing academic journals you will ever come across. It’s called the Journal of Prisoners on Prisons. It has been around for over thirty years. In each and every edition, you will see brilliant scholarly work—it just so happens that this work is written by prisoners themselves
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This week, Darts and Letters was produced by Jay Cockburn. Research and support from David Moscrop and Addye Susnick. Our theme song and music was created by Mike Barber, and our graphic design was created by Dakota Koop.
This episode received support by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research, which provided us a research grant to look at the concept of “public intellectualism.” Professor Allen Sens at the University of British Columbia is the lead academic advisor.
Darts and Letters is produced in Toronto, which is on the traditional land of Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat Peoples. It is also produced in Vancouver, BC, which is on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.