From Mississippi to Manoa: Why mass incarceration matters

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Marcus L Daniel, (808) 956-6770
Associate Professor, History
Posted: Feb 23, 2015

Professor Heather Ann Thompson of Temple University
Professor Heather Ann Thompson of Temple University

Professor Heather Ann Thompson of Temple University will present a lecture with Honolulu-based lawyer and activist Sonny Ganaden on Monday, March 2, 2015, at 4:30 p.m. in the Art Auditorium. The lecture is titled: "From Mississippi to Mānoa: Why Mass Incarceration Matters to Our Cities, Our Economy, and Our Democracy." 

Thompson is one of the most active and influential figures in the growing scholarly and public debate about mass incarceration. She is a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians, and has recently delivered talks at Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, UCLA, Oxford University, and the University of Cambridge. Her work on the history of incarceration has been recognized by fellowships from the Soros Foundation, the American Philosophical Association, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Most recently, Thompson served as a member of the National Academy of Sciences Commission on Mass Incarceration, and on September 14, 2014 testified before the U.S. Congress on the commission’s report and findings. She has also published widely on the issue of mass incarceration. Her article, “Why Mass Incarceration Matters: Rethinking Crisis, Decline, and Transformation in Postwar American History” was judged the best scholarly article published in 2011 by the Urban History Association. Thompson's article in The Atlantic, “How Prisons Change the Balance of Power in America,” was a finalist for the 2014 Just Media Award of the National Council for Crime and Delinquency.

Professor Thompson has published articles in The Huffington Post, Salon, Dissent, and the New York Times. Her book, Blood in the Water: The Attica Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy, a reassessment of the infamous Attica uprising and the dramatic expansion of the U.S. prison complex since 1971, will be published by Pantheon Press later this year.

Sonny Ganaden, a graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law, helped write the Native Hawaiian Justice Task Force Report published in 2013.

Also on March 2, Professor Thompson will deliver a talk on her forthcoming book about the Attica prison rebellion of 1971 at 2:30 p.m. in the History Department Library, Sakamaki Hall, UH Mānoa.

Both talks are open to members of the university and to interested members of the community.

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