Doran Larson

 

 


 

Doran Larson is Professor of English at Hamilton College. He has led The Attica Writer’s Workshop, inside Attica Correctional Facility, since 2006. He is the founder of the Attica-Genesee Teaching Project, which began delivering college-credit courses inside Attica in January 2011; and of the Mohawk Consortium College-in-Prison program, which began delivering college-credit courses inside Mohawk Correctional Facility in January 2014. Professors Larson’s essays on prison writing, prison teaching, and related issues have appeared in Salmagundi, College Literature, English Language Notes, Radical Teacher, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and the on-line Atlantic Monthly. He is the editor of two volumes: “The Beautiful Prison,” a special issue of Studies in Law, Politics, and Society (UK), in which incarcerated writers, prison teachers, and prison critics imagine what the American prison would look like if transformed into a socially constructive institution; and Fourth City: Essays from the Prison in America, the largest collection ever amassed of essays by Americans writing about their experience of incarceration (Michigan State UP, 2014). He is working now to build The American Prison Writing Archive—an open-access digital archive of essays by American prisoners, prison staff, and prison volunteers. Professor Larson has also published two novels, a novella, and over a dozen short stories, in addition to critical essays on American literature and film.




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Mar 2nd 2015

In this course, we will study how first-person testimonial by incarcerated people writing about their experience inside—prisoner witness—can help us in understanding the American prison system. After a brief history of the U.S. prison system, early prisoner writing, and a survey of prisoner writing from 1904 to 1970, we will explore—through prisoner witness—the issues raised by the unprecedented rise of the nation’s mass-incarceration regime since the early 1970s.

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