Sales Ended

Multiple Dates

Humanities Action Lab Presents: 'States of Incarceration' Conference

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time



The New School

Theresa Lang Student and Community Center

55 West 13th Street, Room I202

New York, NY 10011

View Map

Event description


States of Incarceration: A National Dialogue of Local Histories

States of Incarceration will bring together the national community of over 500 people in 20 cities who together created a traveling exhibition on the past, present, and future of mass incarceration.

Teams of students and people directly affected by incarceration from 20 cities each explores a history of incarceration in their own community, from Angola’s slave plantation-turned-prison in Louisiana, to the legacies of the Dakota Wars for Native American incarceration in Minnesota, to immigration detention at Ellis Island and Elizabeth, New Jersey. For its staging in New York City, the exhibit includes a focus on Rikers Island, developed by New School students in collaboration with The Fortune Society. The exhibit launches at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries, at The New School April 3-21, 2016, before traveling to partner sites across the country.

The national exhibition launch events will bring together people who worked on the project from around the country to share local stories and open dialogue on national criminal justice reform.

Building off the Thursday launch, to hear stories of the roots of incarceration in 20 different communities from students, community partners, and leading national scholars and advocates who live there. Complementing presentations by national leaders and individuals touched by incarceration from across the country, the event invites active participation through interactive installations, live polling, and small group discussions. Presentations include:

Florida: Crimmigration at Krome
Minnesota: Carceral Colonialism: Imprisonment in Indian Country
Indiana: Intersections of Incarceration and Mental Illness
California: In Detention: The War on Youth

Commentary from:

  • Dr. Heather Thompson, a native Detroiter and historian at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor who recently completed Blood in the Water: the Attica Prison uprising of 1971 for Pantheon books (out September 2016).

  • Rev. Vivian Nixon, Executive Director of the College and Community Fellowship (CCF), an innovative organization that assists formerly incarcerated women in pursuit of higher education, leadership skills, and career paths that lead to economic security.

States of Incarceration is presented by the Humanities Action Lab. HAL is a collaboration of 20 universities, led by The New School, working with issue based organizations and public spaces to foster new public dialogue on contested social issues, through public humanities projects that explore the diverse local histories and current realities of shared global concerns.

The Sheila C. Johnson Design Center houses the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery and the Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries. In the galleries at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, artistic imagination and ingenuity in design join with global social consciousness. Few spaces offer the artist and the visitor the unique physical experience of being in a gallery and on an open stage simultaneously, as does the design of the center. Through an exhibition program that is both creatively and intellectually rigorous, the Sheila C. Johnson Design Centers invite the university community and others to engage in a dialogue on the role of art and design in the public realm.

Co-sponsored by Humanities Action Lab, JustLeadershipUSA, the Center for New York City Affairs, Create Forward, the Fortune Society, and Theatre of the Oppressed NYC.

This project was made possible in part by:

Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Endowment for the Humanities, Whiting Foundation, Open Society Foundations, TenLegs

Support from The New School provided by:

Executive Dean's Office, New School for Public Engagement, Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students, School of Art, Media, and Technology, Parsons, Zolberg Institute for Migration and Mobility

Created by students from:

Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students, Schools for Public Engagement, Global Studies Program, Schools for Public Engagement, Journalism+Design, Eugene Lang College, MFA Program in Design and Technology, Parsons , Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy, Schools for Public Engagement, School of Art and Design History and Theory, Parsons, School of Art, Media, and Technology, Parsons, School of Constructed Environments, Parsons, School of Media Studies, Schools for Public Engagement, Theater, Eugene Lang College

Join us via Livestream:

Subscribe to our events newsletters.

Founded in 1919, The New School was born out of principles of academic freedom, tolerance, and experimentation. Committed to social engagement, The New School today remains in the vanguard of innovation in higher education, with more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students challenging the status quo in design and the social sciences, liberal arts, management, the arts, and media. The New School welcomes thousands of adult learners annually for continuing education courses and lectures, screenings, readings, and concerts. Through its online learning portals, research institutes, and international partnerships, The New School maintains a global presence. Learn more at


The New School

Theresa Lang Student and Community Center

55 West 13th Street, Room I202

New York, NY 10011

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved