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UW-Green Bay to offer historical perspectives lecture on incarceration in America

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The Center for History and Social Change at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will offer the first presentation of its Fall 2011 Historical Perspectives Lecture Series at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22 in Room 250 of Rose Hall on campus, 2420 Nicolet Drive.

This inaugural lecture of the fall semester will feature Heather Ann Thompson, associate professor of History and African American Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia. Thompson’s presentation, titled “Lock Up America: Rethinking our Nation’s Past & Present in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” will focus on the more than seven million Americans under some form of correctional supervision, whether jail, prison, parole or probation. This number is both historically unprecedented and internationally unparalleled, Thompson says, yet few Americans have stopped to consider what the growth of such a massive criminal justice apparatus has meant for our nation’s cities, young people, workforce and political system.

Thompson is the author of the forthcoming Attica: Race, Rebellion and the Rise of Law & Order America, regarded as the first comprehensive history of the Attica Prison rebellion of 1971 and its legacy. Her areas of expertise include post-1945 urban and labor history, justice policy, postwar crime and punishment, Black Power and 1960s and ‘70s radicalism. Thompson is the author of numerous scholarly articles and three books.

The Historical Perspectives Lecture Series, first organized in 1985, is the foremost activity of the Center for History and Social Change. The annual series of talks by a wide variety of historians and social scientists is made possible thanks to funds from the University, the Democracy and Justice Studies Student Organization, the UW-Green Bay University League and the UW-Green Bay Founders Association. Supporters hope to create an endowment for continued support of the lecture series.

The Center for History and Social Change promotes historical thought, study and discourse at UW-Green Bay and in the larger community through lectures, seminars and other campus events. It is associated most directly with the University’s Department of Democracy and Justice Studies, and pursues its activities in relation to that department’s goals. It also works closely with other academic departments to reinforce and support UW-Green Bay’s interdisciplinary mission. Information about the center and the series, including past lectures, can be found at www.uwgb.edu/centerhsc/.

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