Theater of Social Action: Mass Incarceration
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Division: Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts
Department: The Arts
Course Number: LTHR 3200
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
This course explores issues of mass incarceration in the United States through the lens of socially engaged theater and the work of artist/activist Sekou Sundiata. Topics of research include the policies that create "carceral communities," the "school-to-prison pipeline," the policing and unfair sentencing of minorities, the economics of the prison system, the structural violence of racism and the cycle of poverty, and the effects of mass incarceration especially on families. Through interviews, critical readings, court visits, and discussions with activists and educators working to support people in prisons (including Brian Lewis of the Exalt Program, MAPP International's community director Rasu Jilani, and the playwright and performer Liza Jessie Peterson), students will develop creative work that seeks to re-imagine educational and legal policies that are increasingly punitive and not rehabilitative. Sundiata’s idea of "making as a way of thinking" informs this work as students creatively envision the possibilities of a post-mass incarceration America. This course fulfills the civic engagement/social justice requirement for Theater majors.
Course Open to: Degree Students
Open to Undergraduate students.