Racism, Gender Violence and the Build up of a Prison Nation: The Case for Feminist Abolition Politics

When:
Venue: Birkbeck Main Building, B34
Booking details: Free entry; booking required

Racism, Gender Violence and the Build up of a Prison Nation: The Case for Feminist Abolition Politics

The Department of Criminology at Birkbeck is pleased to welcome Dr Beth Richie to give our annual criminology public lecture.

Dr Richie's presentation will focus on the ways that gender violence, systemic racism and criminalization interact to create particular vulnerability for Black women and other marginalized groups. Using the conceptual frameworks of Carceral Feminism and Prison Nation, Richie will bring a Black feminist analysis to the convergence of these issues. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of the role that abolition could assume as a social justice strategy to reduce harm.

About the Speaker:

Beth E. Richie is Head of the Department of Criminology, Law and Justice and Professor of African American Studies at The University of Illinois at Chicago. The emphasis of her scholarly and activist work has been on the ways that race/ethnicity and social position affect women's experience of violence and incarceration, focusing on the experiences of African American battered women and sexual assault survivors.

Dr. Richie is the author of Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence and America's Prison Nation (NYU Press, 2012) which chronicles the evolution of the contemporary anti-violence movement during the time of mass incarceration in the United States and numerous articles concerning Black feminism and gender violence, race and criminal justice policy, and the social dynamics around issues of sexuality, prison abolition, and grassroots organizations in African American Communities.

Her earlier book Compelled to Crime: the Gender Entrapment of Black Battered Women, is taught in many college courses and is cited in the popular press for its original arguments concerning race, gender and crime. Dr. Richie's work has been supported by grants from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Ford Foundation, and The National Institute for Justice and The National Institute of Corrections. She has been awarded the Audre Lorde Legacy Award from the Union Institute, The Advocacy Award from the US Department of Health and Human Services, and The Visionary Award from the Violence Intervention Project and the UIC Woman of the Year Award.

Dr. Richie is a board member of The Institute on Domestic Violence in the African Community, The National Network for Women in Prison, A Call To Men and a founding member of INCITE!: Women of Color Against Violence. In 2013 she was awarded an Honorary Degree from the City University of New York Law School and in 2014 she was appointed as a Sr. Advisor to the NFL to work on their domestic violence and sexual assault prevention program.

Access: The event is wheelchair accessible. If you face other accessibility barriers, please contact us so we can support your attendance. For further information about the event, contact Sarah Lamble: s.lamble@bbk.ac.uk

The lecture will start at 6pm in Room B34 and be followed by a drinks reception in Room 414. This event is free however booking is required via this page.

Latecomers to the events are not guaranteed entry. Please be advised that photographs may be taken at the events. Please note that this booking is through the 3rd party service Eventbrite and by making this booking you are a customer of Eventbrite.

Please contact us if you have any access requirements. More details of accessibility at Birkbeck venues can be found here.


This event is part of the School of Law's 25th Anniversary celebrations. The School of Law, Birkbeck was founded in 1992 as a Department of Law with three members of academic staff. Over the last twenty-five years it has become a School comprising the Departments of Law and Criminology as well as the Institute for Criminal Policy Research, four research Centres, 40 members of staff and an overall student body of over 1,000. The School is proud of being a pioneer in establishing and developing a hub for the field of critical legal studies. While our national and international reputation has been forged through critical legal research, more recently we have gained recognition for critical criminological and activist research, socio-legal scholarship and policy-engaged empirical research. In recognition of this the last Research Excellence Framework exercise ranked us as being in the top 10 law schools in the UK and in the top 3 in London, while our research environment was judged conducive to producing research of the highest quality.

In this our 25th Anniversary year we will be holding a series of events reflecting on our history and successes as well as looking forward to the opportunities and challenges facing critical legal and criminological teaching and scholarship in the 21st century. Find out more about the 25th Anniversary celebrations here.

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