POLITICAL IMPRISONMENT
01 202 496

Michael Welch, Ph.D.
Professor
Criminal Justice
retrowelch@aol.com
www.professormichaelwelch.com

Office: Lucy Stone Hall A-357, Livingston Campus
Office Hours: Tuesday & Thursday 3.45pm to 4.45pm

SYLLABUS

PURPOSE OF THE COURSE:

In the realm of justice studies, political imprisonment has long been neglected and underdeveloped. This course, as an attempt to correct that deficit, sets out to explore the process and consequences of incarceration based on political, ideological, or military affiliation. Course content draws on numerous case studies, including (but not limited to) Argentina, South Africa, South Korea, Ireland, and Northern Ireland. Turning critical attention to the United States, the course also examines controversial tactics aimed at the Black Panther Party. Lectures and discussion will also benefit from material in a forthcoming book by Professor Michael Welch titled The Bastille Effect: Sites and Symbols of Political Imprisonment. (See also Learning Goals listed below.)

REQUIRED BOOKS:

Mandela, Nelson (1994) Long Walk to Freedom. New York: Little, Brown and Company.

Park, Rebekah (2014) The Reappeared: Argentine Former Political Prisoners. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Davis, Angela Y. (2016) Angela Davis: An Autobiography. New York: International Publishers.

ADDITIONAL READINGS:

Sands, Bobby: Writings from Prison.

Welch, Michael (2016) Political Imprisonment and the Sanctity of Death: Performing Heritage in Troubled Ireland. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 22: 664-678.

Welch, Michael (2016) Clinical Torture: Drifting in the Atrocity Triangle. Onati Socio-Legal Series, 6(4): 957-974. FREE DOWNLOAD https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2871636

Materials to be circulated in class. ATTENTION STUDENTS: Always bring a flashdrive to each class.

SUGGESTED WEBSITES:

http://prisonsmemoryarchive.com

http://gitmomemory.org/stories/

EVALUATION OF STUDENT PERFORMANCE:

Two Exams: 100 points each
Two Papers: 50 points each

Total Semester Points: 300

EXAM 1: Feb 21 (Tuesday) -- ABSOLUTELY NO MAKE UP EXAMS!!!

Sands, Bobby: Writings from Prison.

Welch, Michael (2016) Political Imprisonment and the Sanctity of Death: Performing Heritage in Troubled Ireland. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 22: 664-678.

Welch, Michael (2016) Clinical Torture: Drifting in the Atrocity Triangle. Onati Socio-Legal Series, 6(4): 957-974. FREE DOWNLOAD https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2871636

Mandela, Nelson (1994) Long Walk to Freedom. New York: Little, Brown and Company. Part 8, Robben Island: The Dark Years, Chapters 59 through 70.

EXAM 2: March 28 (Tuesday) -- ABSOLUTELY NO MAKE UP EXAMS!!!

Mandela, Nelson (1994) Long Walk to Freedom. New York: Little, Brown and Company. Part 9, Robben Island: Beginning to Hope, Chapters 71 through 86.

Park, Rebekah (2014) The Reappeared: Argentine Former Political Prisoners. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

In preparation for the first paper: view HUNGER (2008 Irish film, directed by Steve McQueen) on reserve at Kilmer Library. Please develop a sophisticated critique about the significance of resistance at the H Blocks. Discuss the chronology of various forms of resistance by the political prisoners and the screws responses to them. Your critique should be exactly SIX pages in length (single-spaced, 12 pitch). (Use citation style contained in the book The Reappeared by R. Park.) Also precious points will be awarded to those essays boasting an insightful title. The paper is due on THURSDAY, March 2 at 5:04pm. Deliver it in class and not via email. Penalties apply for late arrivals.

In preparation for the second critique, view the film FREE ANGELA (DAVIS) AND ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS (2012, on reserve at Kilmer Library, and Netflix, etc.) and then read Davis, Angela Y. (2016) Angela Davis: An Autobiography. New York: International Publishers (Part 1: Nets; Part 5 Walls).

In keeping with the theme FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS, please develop a sophisticated critique on the plight of Angela Davis as it compares to other political prisoners (and detainees) in Northern Ireland, South Africa, and Argentina. Cite specific passages from the Autobiography of Davis (with page numbers).

Your paper should be exactly SIX pages in length (single-spaced, 12 pitch). (Use citation style contained in the book The Reappeared by R. Park.) Also precious points will be awarded to those essays boasting an insightful title. The paper is due on THURSDAY, APRIL 27 at 5:07pm. Deliver it in class and not via email. Brutal penalties apply for late arrivals. Should you want your paper returned, please provide a self addressed (adequately) stamped envelope. Otherwise, you may collect your paper next January (2018) in my office.

There are NO extra-credit assignments.

Final Grades:

90 - 100% A
87 - 89% B+
80 - 86% B
77 - 79% C+
70 - 76% C
60 - 69% D
00 - 59% F

Nota Bene: Photographing, Video, or Tape recording are strictly prohibited, as well as note taking for commercial purposes.

IS THIS COURSE RIGHT FOR ME?

Students often enroll in a class without the benefit of knowing much about the course, the professor, and what is expected of them. In deciding whether this course suits your personal needs, interests, and lifestyle, the following checklist may be of assistance. Should you have difficulty with any of these items, this course is probably not suited for you.

  1. Attendance and punctuality
  2. Rigorous reading assignments and challenging exams
  3. Being aware of current events and the world around you
  4. Tolerance for the ideas and opinions of others
  5. Remaining attentive and riveted to each lecture
  6. Abstract thinking and critical thought
  7. True and amazing stories

Program in Criminal Justice, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, March 2008

Learning Goals: A Statement of Principles

The Program Committee for the Program in Criminal Justice at Rutgers University in New Brunswick has adopted a series of learning goals for students who complete the major. These goals represent the consensus of the faculty regarding the concepts a student should grasp and the skills a student should acquire in the course of completing the major. These goals guide the choices faculty make about the structure of the curriculum and the requirements for our majors. Moreover, they guide faculty and instructors preparing course material and teaching courses.

The Program in Criminal Justice will provide students with a rich understanding of crime and criminal justice in the United States and abroad through an interdisciplinary approach that blends a strong liberal arts educational experience with pre-professional instruction in the field of criminal justice. Graduates of the program will be well-informed citizens on the topic of crime and justice, and qualified for graduate study or for employment as practitioners in a variety of legal, policymaking, and law enforcement fields.

Criminal justice majors graduating from a research university should be able to use critical thinking, factual inquiry, and the scientific approach to solve problems related to individual and group behavior. In addition, students should have an understanding of the legal, political and policymaking processes that affect criminal justice systems in the United States and elsewhere in the world. Finally, students should be familiar with the institutional structures and latest developments in the field in order to engage in meaningful debate about current public policy issues.

Learning Goals for Criminal Justice Majors

Competence:

Theory. Students who complete the major in criminal justice should understand and be able to articulate, both orally and in writing, the core theoretical concepts that form the foundation of analysis and research in criminology and criminal justice today. Core concepts are derived from explanations of crime from a variety of perspectives, including biogenic, psychological, and sociological approaches. There are myriad theories of crime that are informed by these perspectives, including, classical, control, critical, ecology, labeling, learning, strain, and trait-based approaches. Theoretical literacy should extend to multicultural and international understanding.

Institutions. Students who complete the major in criminal justice should understand the special role of three types of institutions: Police, Corrections, and Courts. In addition, students should know how institutional forms vary across jurisdictions and how these institutions interact with and influence each other.

Research Methods. Students who complete the criminal justice major should be familiar with the tools, techniques, and data sources necessary for empirical analysis. Students should understand the various ways that empirical analysis is used in the scientific approach: for description, for developing, and for testing theories. They should be able to analyze data using computer applications and should be familiar with basic statistical techniques and regression analysis. They should be able to read and assess research from a wide range of sources, including general interest, academic, and government publications.

Critical Thinking: Upon completion of the major students should be able to apply their understanding of core concepts and quantitative tools to analyze and research real world problems, and evaluate alternative policy proposals on a range of criminal justice issues, from micro-level analyses relevant to particular cases to management concerns to macro-level analyses of legislative and other broad-scale policies. Accomplishment of this goal will require that students can apply their literacy and numeracy skills to different institutional structures, within the U.S. and across countries.

Scholarship: Qualified majors should have an opportunity through such avenues as advanced coursework, internships, and faculty interactions to conduct independent research on matters of central relevance to the field of criminal justice.