Crimes of Gender and Sex: Producing and Imprisoning Criminals In the Age of Mass Incarceration

Sara Matthiesen
Brown University
Discipline(s): American StudiesGender and Sexuality StudiesCrime and Justice StudiesHistory
Syllabus Last Updated: 
September, 2016

Growing interest in mass incarceration has brought new attention to longstanding critiques of the criminal justice system. This course looks beyond failings such as “tough on crime” sentencing and racist policing to examine criminal justice as a system that defines and produces criminality. Specifically, we will examine criminalization as a social, political, and cultural process that not only makes certain bodies “criminal,” but also reinforces dominant beliefs about gender, sexuality, and sex. We will explore theories of criminality, methods of policing and imprisonment, rehabilitation initiatives, and prison activism through an intersectional lens.