Pennsylvania has long been a center of prison reform movements, yet today it stands out as a state with one of the highest incarceration rates in the nation. In conjunction with the October issue of PMHB, join a group of scholars for a conversation about how imprisonment has changed in the state, as well as how it connects to today’s crisis of mass incarceration. Teachers, activists, and interested members of the public are encouraged to attend.
About the Speakers:
Tajah Ebram is a PhD candidate in the Department of English at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research is focused on twentieth and twenty-first century Black literature, history, and culture, with particular interests in Black feminism, prison writings, carceral studies, cultural geography, digital humanities, and Philadelphia Black radicalisms. She cofounded the Black Cultural Studies Collective, a reading and working group based in African diasporic studies at Penn. She is currently writing her dissertation, entitled Black Urban Revolution: A Cultural History of MOVE and the Radical Everyday in West Philadelphia.
Beth English is director of the Project on Gender in the Global Community at the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination at Princeton University. She is a lecturer in the Princeton Writing Program and an instructor with Princeton University’s Prison Teaching Initiative. She received her PhD in history from the College of William and Mary, where she was a Glucksman Fellow and visiting assistant professor, and has taught at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research has been funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. English’s research and teaching focus primarily on gender, historical and contemporary labor and working-class issues, culture and society, global economy, and the US and Global Souths. She is the coeditor of Global Women’s Work: Perspectives on Gender and Work in the Global Economy (with Mary E. Frederickson and Olga Sanmiguel-Valderrama); author of A Common Thread: Labor, Politics, and Capital Mobility in the Textile Industry; and a contributing author to several edited volumes focusing on gender and on the US South. Her article “‘I . . . Have a Lot of Work to Do’: Cotton Mill Work and Women’s Culture in Matoaca, Virginia, 1888–1895” was recognized as one of the Organization of American Historians’ Best American History Essays of 2008 (David Roediger, ed.). She is the producer and host of the podcast Working History.
Kristin O’Brassill-Kulfan is a public historian and scholar of early American social history, teaching and working in the Department of History at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She holds a PhD in history from the University of Leicester and an MA in modern history from Queens University Belfast, and she researches poverty, labor, mobility, and crime and punishment in the early American Northeast, as well as public historical and commemorative representations of these subjects. O’Brassill-Kulfan is the author of Vagrants and Vagabonds: Poverty and Mobility in the Early American Republic (New York University Press, 2019).