ANT 324L • Race & Criminal Justice System
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
In this course, we will discuss historical and contemporary studies that provide arguments about the connections between race, poverty, and the criminal justice system. More specifically, our readings and discussions will provide perspectives through which to understand not only how and why acts of police violence, questionable court proceedings, and unjust sentences routinely take place, but also why and how they are often sanctioned by society at large. What historical and contemporary circumstances explain and are necessarily connected to the acquittal of the officers involved in the killing of Diallo? What historical and contemporary circumstances explain the brutality and subsequent acquittal of the officers involved in the beating of Rodney King in 1991? As we will see, not only can such examples be multiplied ad nauseam, but also their connections become evident once we comprehend how society and its institutions (re) produce representations and practices that often take race, age, class, and gender as markers of expected behavior.
Steven Donziger (Editor) The Real War on Crime (New York: HarperCollins, 1996). George Lipsitz, The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998). James Marquart, Sheldon Ekland-Olson, Johnathan Sorensen, The Rope, the Chair, and the Needle: Capital Punishment in Texas, 1923-1990 (Austin: U Texas Press, 1994). Katheryn K. Russell, The Color of Crime: Racial Hoaxes, White Fear, Black Protectionism, Police Harassment, and Other Macroagressions (NYU Press, 1998). Assata Shakur, Assata: an Autobiography (Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 1987). ANT 324L/AFR 320 READER (available at Abels Copies: University Towers, 715D W. 23rd St, ph. 472-5353).