IPP Workshop Series: Reforms and Representations of the Prisons in England (Sijie Wang)
Nov 24, 2020
from 02:00 to 04:00
|Contact Name||David E. Susa|
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By analysing the representations of incarceration in fictional as well as non-fictional texts, this workshop intends to examine English prison reforms on both architectural and administrative levels during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
The reformation of penal institutions from an unsystematically regulated place of temporary accommodation to a structurally supervised place of solitary confinement is extensively represented in novels, political pamphlets as well as personal letters, attracting scholarly attention in various research areas but remaining largely unknown among the general public.
After a brief summary of penal practices in England from public executions to disciplinary surveillance, this workshop invites the participants to apply these concepts to a comparative analysis of three short excerpts, taken respectively from Daniel Defoe’s fictional autobiography Moll Flanders (1722), John Howard’s political work The State of the Prisons in England and Wales (1777) and Oscar Wilde’s epistolary text De Profundis (1905). Through a juxtaposition of literary, political and private writings, this workshop offers an interdisciplinary introduction to prison history and prison literature, thus blurring the boundaries between content, form and context. Combining introductory lecturing with group discussions, group presentations and inter-group exchanges, this session aims to broaden the participants’ knowledge about the history of incarceration and encourage their critical reflections on how the prison is reformed, represented and perhaps even misused by our society at large.
This workshop will be accessible five minutes before 14:00 through the following link:
Note: The sessions of the IPP Workshop Series are open for BA, MA and PhD students and the participants do not require any previous knowledge to take part.
// Sijie Wang (GCSC)