The Midlo Center for New Orleans Studies and the UNO Department of History are sponsoring
a series of public events this fall in conjunction with the national public history
project known as "Global Dialogues on Incarceration." The project is coordinated by
the New School's Humanities Action Lab (HAL) in New York City. The University of New
Orleans joins twenty partner schools around the country teaching courses dedicated
to incarceration and its history, staging events with community partners and contributing
to a national traveling exhibit.
"The U.S. incarcerates more people than any country in the world, and Louisiana incarcerates
more people than any state in the U.S.," said Connie Zeanah Atkinson, associate professor
of history at UNO and the Midlo Center's co-director. "With the emphasis on incarceration
issues going on in Louisiana right now, I expect this series of events to generate
great interest and make a meaningful contribution to the global dialogue."
While a series of related events will take place across the city, a number of distinguished
speakers will visit the UNO campus:
- Artist, activist and educator Mark Strandquist, whose "Windows from Prison" project
has brought thousands of individuals together with prisoners across the country, will
discuss using collaborative public art to engage critically and creatively with the
criminal justice system on Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 2:00 – 3:15 p.m. in the UNO Earl K.
Long Library on the 4th floor.
- Marianne Fisher-Giorlando will talk about the women who were incarcerated in Louisiana's
first state penitentiary–a walled facility in Baton Rouge in the 19th century–and
share stories that dispel commonly held beliefs about women's incarceration before
the Civil War. This lecture takes place Thursday, Sept. 24 at 2:00 – 3:15 p.m. in
the UNO Earl K. Long Library on the 4th floor.
- Norris Henderson, executive director of Voice of the Ex-Offender (VOTE), will deliver
a lecture based on his tremendous success impacting policy and public discourse about
police accountability, public defense, and reforming the Orleans Parish Prison. Mr.
Henderson was wrongfully incarcerated for 27 years and is now committed to working
as an advocate and organizer for criminal justice reform, especially in New Orleans.
Mr. Henderson's lecture will take place Thursday, December 3 at 2:00-3:15 p.m. in
the Liberal Arts Building, Room 197.
Beyond these lectures, some UNO students will examine incarceration as part of their
coursework and contribute to the "Global Dialogues on Incarceration" national traveling
exhibit. UNO students enrolled in the course "Policing, Punishment, and Prisons in
Local and Global Perspective," taught by visiting lecturer Benjamin Weber, will create
and submit a final project to the national exhibit at the close of the fall 2015 semester.
The exhibit will open in New York this spring and travel to New Orleans in 2017.
In addition to student coursework and lecture events, a number of other forums–both
on and off the UNO campus–will examine incarceration through film, panel discussions
and visual arts. Below is a complete listing of events associated with the "Global
Dialogues on Incarceration." For more information, contact Ben Weber at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mark Strandquist: "Windows from Prison: Using Public Art to Disrupt the Criminal Justice
System," Tuesday, September 8, 2:00 – 3:15 p.m. UNO Earl K. Long Library, 4th floor.
Co-sponsored by the Friends of the UNO Library.
- Film Screening: "The Angola 3: Black Panthers and the Last Slave Plantation," Tuesday,
September 15, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. UNO Liberal Arts Lounge, Liberal Arts Bldg 197. Co-sponsored
by Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society.
- Marianne Fisher-Giorlando: "Women at the Walls: Dispelling the Myths of Women in Louisiana's
Antebellum Penitentiary," Thursday, September 24, 2:00 – 3:15 pm., UNO Earl K. Long
Library, 4th floor. Co-sponsored by the UNO Women's Center.
- Film Screening: "The Farm," Tuesday, October 13, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. UNO Liberal Arts
Lounge, Liberal Arts Bldg 197. Co-sponsored by Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society.
- Panel Discussion and Demonstration: "A World without Prisons? Local Artists Discuss
Art and Activism with Young People," Thursday, October 29, time TBA. Myrtle Banks
Bldg., Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. Co-sponsored by the Louisiana Center for Children's
- Day-long Exhibition and Discussion: "Conversations on Windows Through Walls: Angola
Over Time," Saturday, November 14 during Central City Fest, Ashé Cultural Center,
1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. Co-sponsored by Ashé Cultural Arts Center.
- Film Screening: "Follow Me Down," Tuesday, November 24, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. UNO Liberal
Arts Lounge, Liberal Arts Bldg 197. Co-sponsored by Phi Alpha Theta History Honors
- Norris Henderson, former OSI Soros Justice Fellow & Executive Director of Voice of
the Ex-Offender (VOTE), Thursday, December 3, 2:00 – 3:15 p.m., UNO Liberal Arts Lounge,
Liberal Arts Bldg 197.