Friday, March 6, 2015

Call for Participation: Prison Communication, Activism, Research, and Education (PCARE) after 10 Years; A Retrospective on Evolving Modes of Engagement

At the NCA Convention in Boston in 2005, the founders of PCARE hosted a pre-conference where we discussed the many aspects of the prison-industrial complex, including issues pertaining to race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, class and poverty, arrest and sentencing patterns, media representations, educational interventions, activist projects, and others. That 2005 pre-conference led to the first group-authored PCARE journal article, which was published in 2007 in Communication and Critical Cultural Studies. Since then, articles and books and panels and pre-conferences have followed, with the group eventually launching a list-serve and website as well.

Our impression is that PCARE has been successful in creating a support network for colleagues who teach, research, and engage with prisons, crime, and the many social issues that interweave to feed our incarceration nation. We seek now to continue that momentum with three calls to action.

1.     We are seeking renewed energy for the PCARE website, for which we need more regular postings, new syllabi, more links to activist groups, regular news postings, and other forms of information. For those PCARE members who wish to contribute to this project, please direct your correspondence to Bryan McCann at

2.     We are seeking participants for a working group/roundtable discussion to be held at the 2015 NCA convention, tentatively organized under the title that appears above, and tentatively slotted for submission to the NCA’s new Social Justice division. For those PCARE members who wish to contribute to this project, please direct your correspondence to Emily Plec at

3.     We are seeking contributors to another group-authored essay, also working under the title listed above, and ideally drawing from the participants in steps # 1 and 2. For those PCARE members who wish to contribute to this project, please send your ideas and enquiries regarding this call to Stephen J. Hartnett by June 1,

Overall, in all three projects discussed here, we are interested in hearing from members: Do you teach in prison? Do you work with local activists? Are you trying to transform your home educational institution’s curriculum? Are you working in and with various forms of media? Does your work address the death penalty, or the drug war, or local policing issues? What modes of engagement have you pursued, and what avenues of work might PCARE members think about pursuing in their own work? By assembling your answers to these questions, we hope to offer a PCARE retrospective that both chronicles our first decade of work and looks ahead to the work yet to be done.

We envision the panel noted above (#2) serving as a first opportunity to assemble the contributors and topics that will be assembled into the essay discussed above (#3), with the project culminating in a 2017 publication that will stand as the ten-year anniversary piece of our original, 2007 publication. Ideally, these projects will continue PCARE’s decade-long commitment to social justice while also providing new venues and outlets for a new generation of PCARE’s members.


Emily said...

For those submitting for the NCA panel, please note that the "Activism and Social Justice" division is not yet accepting submissions. If you have suggestions regarding other divisions to which we might submit, please share!

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