Graduate Student Workshop on Religion and Mass Incarceration

The rapid growth of prisons in the United States, and globally, has recently attracted a great deal of scholarly attention. How have religious ideas and practices contributed to the rise of mass incarceration, and how might religious ideas and practices contribute to its demise? How have religious traditions themselves been affected by a culture that now equates justice with “law and order”? We intend to bring together graduate students whose work investigates these issues using a variety of methods (ethnographic, historical, theoretical, textual) and at a variety of sites (various religious traditions, inside the US and beyond, inside and outside prison walls). We are particularly interested in projects that participate in, reflect on, or attempt to catalyze grassroots organizing around these issues. Participants will provide feedback to each other as well as receive feedback from faculty. They will also be asked to compose a blog post summarizing their project for a general audience. The workshop is organized in conjunction with the Central New York Working Group on Religion and Mass Incarceration (a joint project of Cornell, Syracuse, and Rochester) and the Religion and Incarceration Network (

artwork by mary tremonte,
artwork by mary tremonte,

The workshop will be held at Syracuse University on Friday, October 31, 2014. We will reimburse travel and accommodation expenses. We invite applications from doctoral students in any discipline whose research is relevant to this topic. To apply, please submit a 2 page abstract (~750 words) of the work that you would present as well as your CV to Vincent Lloyd ( by July 20, 2014. Questions can also be addressed to Vincent Lloyd. Notification by August 1, 2014.

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