About the talk:

Benjamin Weber will share from his recently published book American Purgatory: Prison Imperialism and the Rise of Mass Incarceration (The New Press, 2023). American Purgatory documents how the story of American prisons is inextricably linked to the expansion of American power around the globe. The book shows how "prison imperialism" is written into our national DNA, extending through to our modern era of mass incarceration, while also uncovering a rich history of prison resistance, from the Seminole Chief Osceola to Assata Shakur - one that invites us to rethink the scope of America's long freedom struggle.

About the speaker:

Benjamin Weber is an interdisciplinary scholar of African American History, Critical Carceral Studies, and Black Social and Political Thought, and an Assistant Professor of African American & African Studies at the University of California, Davis. He has worked as a Senior Associate at the Vera Institute of Justice and Alternate ROOTS, a Researcher on the Marcus Garvey and UNIA Papers Project, and a public High School Teacher in East Los Angeles. His recent publications include American Purgatory, a four-hundred-year reckoning with the colonial workings of the carceral state and resistance against it, and opinion pieces on the lesser-known history of the Monroe Doctrine on the occasion of its bicentennial (Salon), and why we must teach the history of mass incarceration in the face of continued attacks on the teaching of African American History (TIME).

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