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Larson Discusses Prison Writing at ASC Meeting


Doran Larson
Doran Larson

Professor of English and Creative Writing Doran Larson presented a paper at the 70th annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology (ASC) held Nov. 19-22 in San Francisco. The theme of the convention was “Criminology at the Intersections of Oppression.”

“From Witness to Archive: Prisoners Writing the American Gulag” was presented during a convict criminology session titled “Reflections on the Role, Significance and Practice of Prison Writing.” Larson discussed efforts to place prisoner writing at the center of representation and understanding of mass incarceration in the United States.

He talked about Fourth City: Essays from the Prison in America, a collection of first-person essays that offer a glimpse of how the U.S. prison is experienced by those living inside it. Larson edited the volume which is to-date the largest of its kind.

He also discussed ongoing work on The American Prison Writing Archive, an open-source, digital archive of non-fiction, American prison writing. The archive is a project of the Digital Humanities Initiative.

The ASC is described on its website as “an international organization whose members pursue scholarly, scientific, and professional knowledge concerning the measurement, etiology, consequences, prevention, control, and treatment of crime and delinquency.”

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