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Doran Discusses Civic Engagement in Prisons


 Katheryn Doran
Katheryn Doran

Associate Professor of Philosophy Katheryn Doran discussed her work as director of the Hamilton Oneida Prison Education (HOPE) faculty group and her own long-running prison book group in an interview published on the Engaged Philosophy website.

Doran said the HOPE volunteers and the inmates at the men’s medium-security prison who participate in the program “are all in it strictly for the rewards of reading and discussing the material together.”

Professor of Comparative Literature Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz, Visiting Assistant Professor of Italian Mary Sisler, and Elias W. Leavenworth Professor of Economics Christophre Georges are also HOPE volunteers.

Doran said she was inspired to become involved with prison education when she heard Algebra Project founder and president Robert Moses ’56 talk about how education is necessary for democracy. “I wanted to be part of a push for greater educational equity. But I have long persisted at least as much for my own growth as a teacher,” she added.

According to its website, Engaged Philosophy endorses philosophy that, rather than being confined to abstract reasoning, engages directly with the world.  The website “facilitates organizing, participating in, sharing, studying, and disseminating the results of civic engagement projects in philosophy classes by showcasing examples of student work and by providing syllabi, results, and references.”

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