Carceral Studies Consortium at the University of Oklahoma - Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture

Carceral Studies Consortium at the University of Oklahoma

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The Carceral Studies Consortium brings together faculty, staff and students from across the University of Oklahoma and beyond to cultivate and support rigorous research, pedagogy, and community engagement toward social transformation.

Our purpose is to provide one another with a structured context within which to:

  • support and share substantive, multi-disciplinary scholarship
  • collaborate on pedagogical praxes
  • mentor students, pre-tenure faculty, and activists
  • and, foster scholarship-driven community partnerships and projects 

Through the exchange and enrichment of ideas among colleagues, the Carceral Studies In consortium at OU creates connections across disciplines, fields, and colleges, and encourages curricular, scholarly, and community/political collaboration.

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About Carceral Studies

Carceral Studies takes as its primary subject of inquiry the contemporary problem of states and societies organized by punishment and incarceration. 

This cutting-edge, robust area of scholarship extends this inquiry into the wide range of conditions that organize social and political systems—from cultural thought to the built environment to apparatuses of state governance—that shape, sustain, and entrench practices and commonsense notions of punishment and incarceration.

Carceral Studies is concerned with both the independent function and nexus of these systems.For instance, a political science theorist might ask: How is contemporary nationalism framed to privilege patriotism in its punitive forms? A population health scholar might inquire: How does the commonsense punishing of poverty as a personal failure lead to pockets of drug addiction, or other patterns of human behavior linked to higher rates of incarceration? A literary scholar might ask: How do troubling norms of the memoir genre entrench punishment as a productive prompt for learning, growth, and independence? And, a legal theorist might inquire: How do anti-immigration litigation and legal constructions of citizenship naturalize detention and incarceration as legitimate punishments over and above human rights?

Carceral Studies convenes scholars asking related questions across a range of disciplines and fields and brings them into analytical conversation. Specifically, it forms a scholarly nexus of these lines of inquiry, building capacity for more rigorous, far-reaching observation. For instance, a collective comprised of Education, Architecture, Human Geography, Economics, and Political Science scholars might offer a dexterous, fertile analysis of the ways in which schools and prisons interact to cement mass incarceration. In so doing, they also offer the greatest possibility for intervention and transformation. This multi-disciplinary observation promises to address some of our most pressing social issues of our time and context. In fact, it is the premise of Carceral Studies that the problem of carcerality can only be addressed by the sophisticated coming-together of different disciplines and fields, a rich array of theoretical traditions, and a diverse set of methodological interventions. It does not privilege one above the other, but rather presumes the necessity of the whole. In this way Carceral Studies not only promises to move us toward a more just society, it also offers a model of necessarily collaborative scholarly endeavor.

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Apply for the 2021 Student Work Prize

We are pleased to announce the 2021 Carceral Studies Student Work Prize. OU students may submit an original essay or creative work produced as part of any course in any discipline during the 2020-2021 academic year that deals with the topic of Carceral Studies, broadly conceived. Submissions are due May 1st, 2021.

Apply for the Graduate Student Fellowship

The Carceral Studies Consortium offers an outstanding graduate student with interest in advancing Carceral Studies a 12-month, .20 FTE position (8 hours per week). This CSC Graduate Student Fellow serves as the student representative on the Carceral Studies Board of Directors, as well as provides critical support for CSC initiatives throughout each academic year (July 1 to June 30).

Join the Consortium Board!

Faculty, staff, graduate students, and community members can apply to become Core Affiliate or Affiliate Board Members. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Why All Americans Should Honor Juneteenth [VIDEO]

Featuring Karlos Hill, Chair of OU African and African-American Studies

With Vox Media

Resources + Opportunities

  • “Abolitionist Futures with Dylan Rodriguez, Aislinn Pully, and Patricia Nguyen,” Northwestern Council for Race and Ethnic Studies on May 6 (Learn more)
  • “Recovering History: Poetry on the Carceral State & Internment,” Philbrook & Tri-City Collective (Register Here)
  • “Courageous Conversations: We Need to Talk About Ending Injustice: The Work and Path of Bryan Stevenson” (Register here)
  • Carceral Studies Consortium Student Work Prize (Learn more)
  • Carceral Studies Consortium Faculty Affiliate Application (Learn more)
  • Undergraduate Carceral Studies Courses at OU (See courses)
  • Kayla Marie Martensen, “Review of Carceral State Studies and Application,” Sociology Compass 42, no. 7 (July 2020) (Read here)
  • Participate in the Online Book Drive for the Taft Eddie Warrior Correctional Facility for Women in Muskogee, Oklahoma (Learn more)
  • University-wide initiative to mark 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre (Learn more)

Past Events

  • Carceral Studies Federal Funding Workshop with Bill Ruch of Lewis-Burke held on 4/16/21 (View Slides | View Recording)
  • Carceral Studies Federal Funding Workshop with Beeta Rasouli and Kari McCarron of Lewis-Burke held on 4/30/21 (View SlidesView Recording)
  • Ideating for Convergent Research in Trauma & Advancing Well-being on 3/22/21 (Register here)
  • Abolitionist Pedagogy Workshop led by Dr. Sabina Vaught on 3/26/21 (Register here)
  • Carceral Studies Consortium to Host Networking Event on Feb. 8th, 2021 (Learn more)
  • Cambridge University Press has made its collection on “Protests, Policing and Race” free online until July 12th, including Karlos Hill’s Beyond the Rope (Learn more)
  • Jacob R. Moore to Offer Dream Course Lecture on “Advancing Issues of Power, Infrastructure and Justice” on November 23rd at 12:45 p.m. (Join the event via Zoom)
  • History of Science Hosts “Carceral Conservation” Lecture By Dr. Traci Brynne Voyles on Sept. 11, 2020 (Learn more)
  • Consortium Hosts Gathering for Faculty, Staff on Aug. 28, 2020 (Learn more)
  • Consortium Hosts Reading Group Discussions on Race, Police and the State on July 7 & 9, 2020 (Learn more)
  • “Women and Girls in the Carceral State” public film screenings held throughout Spring 2020 (Event details, PDF)
  • “1619-2019: Angela to Atatiana | Carcerality and the Lives of Black Women” Panel held on Dec. 5, 2019 (Event details, PDF)
  • “Contested Archives: Black Communal Strategies Against the Carceral State,” a lecture by urban anthropologist Damien M. Sojoyner held on Nov. 5, 2019 (Event details, PDF)
  • “Scholarship in the Black Radical Tradition: A Workshop with Graduate Students and Faculty,” led by Damien Sojoyner on Nov. 5, 2019 (Event details, PDF)

Carceral Studies Consortium News

  • University of Oklahoma Community Donates over 130 Books to Incarcerated Women (Learn more)
  • Spring 2021 Carceral Studies Consortium Micro-Grant Award Winners Announced (Learn more)
  • Norman Police Establish Research and Assessment Partnership with Knee Institute & OU School of Social Work (Read more)
  • OU Carceral Studies Consortium Launches New Podcast (Start Listening)
  • Gibbs College of Architecture student journal Telesis announces call for submissions on the topic of isolation (See the CFP here)
  • Poetic Justice Calls for Volunteers (Read more)
  • OU Team Helps Raise Awareness of Mass Incarceration in Rio de Janeiro (Read more)
  • University of Oklahoma Welcomes Dr. Jermaine Thibodeaux to Faculty (Read more)
  • Carceral Studies Consortium introduces Newsletter (Read more)
  • Carceral Studies Consortium issues statement on Juneteenth and George Floyd (Read more)
  • Carceral Studies Board Member Sabina Vaught Talks to DreamRadically Podcast About Prison Industrial Complex Abolition (Listen now)
  • OU Professor Karlos K. Hill Partners with Vox Media on Documentary: “Why all Americans should honor Juneteenth” (Learn more)
  • Public Lecture Series Entitled “The Wrongfully Convicted” Offered as Part of Spring 2020 Presidential Dream Course Program (Learn more)
  • “Re imagining a Jail for Oklahoma City” Course to be Offered as Part of Fall 2020 Presidential Dream Course Program (Learn more)
  • Design Students Present Final Projects to OKC Non-Profit (Learn more)
  • Former OU student continues fight to prove innocence after 20 years on death row (Learn more)
  • OU Professor Hosts Feminist Reading Group for Incarcerated Girls (Learn more)
  • Gibbs College Students, Faculty are “Rethinking Women’s Prisons” (Learn more)
  • “Invisible Eve” Photo Exhibition Tells the Story of Incarcerated Women and their Children (Learn more)

Click here to read more CSC news

Recent Research at the University of Oklahoma

A country called prison - book cover
Compulsory, Education and the Dispossession of Youth in a Prison School - Book Cover
Beyond the rope - book cover
Mean LIves, Mean Laws - Book cover

Aparicio E.M., Shpiegel S., Grinnell-Davis C., and King B. 2019. ““My body is strong and amazing”: Embodied experiences of pregnancy and birth among young women in foster care”. Children and Youth Services Review. 98: 199-205.

Baines, Lawrence. 2019. Privatization of America’s Public Institutions: The Story of the American Sellout. Peter Lang Publishing Group.

Brady, Shane R., and Jacob Lesniewski. 2018. “Rabble Rousing in a Red State: Lessons Learned From Organizing for Worker Rights in a Highly Conservative State.” Journal of Community Practice. 26 (2): 236-251. 

Brosnan K.A. 2019. “The lifting fog: Race, work, and the environment.” Environmental History. 24 (1): 9-24.

Byers, Lisa G., Jedediah E. Bragg and Ricky T. Muñoz . 2017. “American Indian Grand-Families: Trauma and Services.” Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 26:3, 204-216.

Cheney, Marshall K., Mary J. Gowin, E. Laurette Taylor, Melissa Frey, Jamie Dunnington, Ghadah Alshuwaiyer, J. Kathleen Huber, Mary Camero Garcia, and Grady C. Wray. 2017. “Living Outside the Gender Box in Mexico: Testimony of Transgender Mexican Asylum Seekers.” American Journal of Public Health. 107 (10): 1646-1652. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2017.303961

Crawford, Brandon, Angela B. Pharris, and Rachel Dorsett-Burrell. 2018. “Risk of serious criminal involvement among former foster youth aging out of care.” Children and Youth Services Review. 93: 451-457.

Fry-Geier, L., and C. M. Hellman. 2017. “School Aged Children of Incarcerated Parents: the Effects of Alternative Criminal Sentencing.” Child Indicators Research. 10 (3): 859-879. DOI: 10.1007/s12187-016-9400-4

Gries, Peter Hays. 2016. “Liberals, Conservatives, and Latin America: How Ideology Divides Americans over Immigration and Foreign Aid.” Latin American Research Review. 51 (3): 23-46. doi:10.1353/lar.2016.0032.

Ghosh P.K., Hoover G.A., and Liu Z. 2020. “Do State Minimum Wages Affect the Incarceration Rate?” Southern Economic Journal. 86 (3): 845-872.

Haslerig S.J., Vue R., and Grummert S.E. 2018. “Invincible bodies: American sport media’s racialization of Black and white college football players.” International Review for the Sociology of Sport. doi:10.1177/1012690218809317.

Hill, Karlos K. 2016. Beyond the rope: the impact of lynching on black culture and memory. Cambridge University Press. Link

Hott B.L., Reid C.C., Raymond L., and Berkeley S. 2019. “An Analysis of Special Education Practitioner Journals: A Focus on Behavior.” Exceptionality.

Jenness, Valerie, and Julie Gerlinger. “The Feminization of Transgender Women in Prisons for Men: How Prison as a Total Institution Shapes Gender.” Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 36, no. 2 (May 2020): 182–205. doi:10.1177/1043986219894422.

Johnson, Kit. 2019. “The Mythology of Sanctuary Cities.” Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal, Vol. 28, 2019.

Johnson, Kit. 2019. “Pereira v. Sessions: a Jurisdictional Surprise for Immigration Courts”. Columbia Human Rights Law Review. 50 (2): 1-45.

Johnson K. 2015. “A cost-benefit analysis of the federal prosecution of immigration crimes.” Denver Law Review. 92 (4): 863-877.

Jones M.S., Burge S.W., Sharp S.F., and McLeod D.A. 2020. “Childhood adversity, mental health, and the perpetration of physical violence in the adult intimate relationships of women prisoners: A life course approach.” Child Abuse and Neglect.

Jones, M. S., Worthen, M. G. F., Sharp, S. F., & McLeod, D. A. (2020). Native American and Non-Native American Women Prisoners, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and the Perpetration of Physical Violence in Adult Intimate Relationships. Journal of Interpersonal Violence

Jones, M. S., Peck, B. M., Sharp, S. F., & McLeod, D. A. (2019). Childhood Adversity and Intimate Partner Violence in Adulthood: The Mediating Influence of PTSD in a Sample of Women Prisoners. Journal of Interpersonal Violence

Jones, Melissa S., Susan F. Sharp, and Meredith G. F. Worthen. 2018. “Broken Hearts and Battered Lives: Adverse and Abusive Life Histories and Externalized Responses to Anger as Pathways to Illicit Drug Use Among Incarcerated Women.” Women & Criminal Justice. 28 (3): 167-188.

Jones, Melissa S., Meredith G.F. Worthen, Susan F. Sharp, and David A. McLeod. 2018. “Life as she knows it: The effects of adverse childhood experiences on intimate partner violence among women prisoners.” Child Abuse & Neglect. 85: 68-79.

Jones, Melissa S., Meredith G. F. Worthen, Susan F. Sharp, and David A. McLeod. 2018. “Bruised Inside Out: The Adverse and Abusive Life Histories of Incarcerated Women as Pathways to PTSD and Illicit Drug Use.” Justice Quarterly. 35 (6): 1004-1029.

King, Bryn, Andrea Lane Eastman, Claudette Grinnell-Davis, and Elizabeth Aparicio. 2019. “Early Childbirth Among Foster Youth: A Latent Class Analysis to Determine Subgroups at Increased Risk”. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. 51 (4): 229-238.

Kramer, E. M. 2016. “The Working Poor: Two Perspectives on Reality-A Communication to the Editor Inviting a Discussion.” Poverty & Public Policy. 8 (3): 263-274.

Looman, Mary, and John Carl. 2015. A country called prison. Mass incarceration and the making of a new nation. Corby: Oxford University Press. Link

Malka, Adam. 2018. The Men of Mobtown: Policing Baltimore in the Age of Slavery and Emancipation. University of North Carolina Press. Link

McLeod DA, Sharp SF, Gatlin L, Jones MS. “No Idle Threat: Coercive Control and Enacted Violence in the Pre-Prison Relationships of Incarcerated Women.” Violence Vict. 2019;34(3):452-473. doi:10.1891/0886-6708.VV-D-17-00023

McLeod, David A. 2015. “Female Offenders in Child Sexual Abuse Cases: A National Picture.” Journal of Child Sexual Abuse. 24 (1): 97-114.

McLeod, David A. and Morgan L. Craft. 2015. “Female Sexual Offenders in Child Sexual Abuse Cases: National Trends Associated with CPS System Entry, Exit, Service Utilization, & Socioeconomics.” Journal of Public Child Welfare. 9 (4).

McLeod, David A., Anthony P. Natale, and Zachary R. Johnson. 2015. “Comparing Theoretical Perspectives on Female Sexual Offending Behaviors: Applying a Trauma-Informed Lens.” Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment. 25 (8): 934-947.

Mohamed, E., Mahdi, W., & Dabashi, H. (2020). “The aesthetics of dissent: Culture and politics of transformation in the Arab world.” International Journal of Cultural Studies23(2), 141–149.

Moxley, David P. 2016. “Enforcing Penance: Women’s Experience of Incarceration in an Age of Punishment (Review Essay).” Journal of Community Practice. 24 (3): 347-352.

Noyori-Corbett, Chie, and David P. Moxley. 2018. “Addressing female sex trade human trafficking in Japan through NGO advocacy networks.” International Social Work. 61 (6): 954-967.

Noyori‐Corbett, C. and David P. Moxley. 2017. “A transnational feminist policy analysis of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.” International Journal of Social Welfare. 26: 107-115. doi:10.1111/ijsw.12217

Noyori-Corbett C., and David P. Moxley. 2016. “Inequality of women as a factor influencing migration from countries of origin to the United States and its implications for understanding human trafficking.” International Social Work. 59 (6): 890-903.

Noyori-Corbett, C., and Y. Sharma. 2016. “Female Juvenile Violent Behavior: Bonding Systems and Other Mediating Constructs.” Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal. 33 (1): 25-37. DOI: 10.1007/s10560-015-0398-0

Paat, Yok-Fong, Trina L. Hope, Laura Cristina Lopez, Hector Zamora Jr. & Christian M. Salas. 2017. “Hispanic exconvicts’ perceptions of challenges and reintegration.” Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 56:2, 87-109.

Paat,  Yok-Fong, Trina L Hope, Hector Zamora, Laura C Lopez, and Christian Salas. 2018. “Inside the Lives of Hispanic Origin Ex-Convicts: Pre- and Post-Incarceration.” International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy. 7 (4): 83-99.

Sharp, Susan F. 2014. Mean lives, mean laws Oklahoma’s women prisoners. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press. Link

Shpiegel S., Lynch J., Aparicio E.M., King B., Prince D., and Grinnell-Davis C.L. 2020. “The functional patterns of adolescent mothers leaving foster care: Results from a cluster analysis.” Child and Family Social Work. 25 (2): 478-487.

Ward, Julie. 2017. “Affective Suffrage: Social Media, Street Protests, and Theatre as Alternative Spaces for Political Self-Representation in the 2012 Mexican Presidential Elections.” Transmodernity – Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of the Luso-Hispanic World. 7 (2).

Vaught, Sabina Elena. 2017. Compulsory: Education and the dispossession of youth in a prison school. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Link

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