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    Vassar College
  Jan 17, 2018
Catalogue 2017-2018
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URBS 185 - Incarcerating Philosophies

Semester Offered: Fall
0.5 unit(s)

(Same as AFRS 185  and PHIL 185 ) This course is at the intersection of ethics, social philosophy, and political philosophy. It examines: (1) how certain individuals, groups, and philosophies are marginalized and incarcerated, and (2) the response and responsibilities towards such forms of incarceration. The first topic deals with philosophies of incarceration, that is, the philosophical approaches used in order to incarcerate. Quite simply: what are reasons for incarceration? The second topic addresses how various philosophies can be used to oppose and interrogate such methods. Questions addressed will be: how does the physical and psychical act of incarceration operate? What modes of life and thoughts are rendered as ‘criminal’, and how? Finally: what are the means by which individuals, groups, and philosophies can respond to such methods of incarceration.

Readings include: Plato, Jeremy Bentham, Antonio Gramsci, Michel Foucault, Angela Davis, Frank Wilderson III, Michelle Alexander. Required work includes reading, short weekly writing assignments, class participation, and attendance. Osman Nemli.

Second six-week course.

Two 75-minute periods.

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