Princeton University to hold conference on prisons and race

The Center for African American Studies at Princeton University is hosting a conference on “Imprisonment of a Race” from 10:30 a.m. through 6:15 p.m. on Friday, March 25, in McCosh Hall, Room 10, on the Princeton University campus. The conference is free and open to the public, but online registration is required. To register, visit

“Imprisonment of a Race” will focus on the prison system in a historical and present-day context through the lens of race. The conference will feature two panel discussions, a film screening and a keynote conversation. 

[*Media interested in attending the conference must contact Jennifer Loessy at the Center for African American Studies by emailing no later than 5 p.m. March  23.]

Cornel West, Princeton University's Class of 1943 University Professor in the Center for African American Studies, and Michelle Alexander, associate professor of Law at Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University, will participate in the keynote conversation, which begins at 4:30 p.m.

The first panel discussion begins at 10:30 a.m. and will focus on prisons and political prisoners of the 1970’s. It will feature Caleb Smith, associate professor of English at Yale University; Linn Washington, associate professor of journalism at Temple University; Joy A. James, the John B. and John T. McCoy Presidential Professor of the Humanities and college professor in political science at Williams College; Khalil G. Muhammad, the newly appointed director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and assistant professor of American history at Indiana University; and Heather Ann Thompson, associate professor of history at Temple University.

The second panel discussion, which begins at 2 p.m., will focus on the current prison system and will feature Khalilah Brown-Dean, the Peter Strauss Family Assistant Professor of Political Science and African American Studies at Yale University; Mark Taylor, the Maxwell M. Upson Professor of Theology and Culture at the Princeton Theological Seminary; Carla Shedd, assistant professor of sociology and African American Studies at Columbia University; and Marc Mauer, the executive director for The Sentencing Project.

For information regarding this event, please contact Jennifer Loessy at the Center for African American Studies at or (609) 258-3216.