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Reading Groups


"Global Carceral States and Networks: Racialized Policing, Mass Incarceration, and Migrant Detentions"

5 Tuesdays during Spring 2021 - 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM, Mar 2 Mar 16, Apr 6, Apr 20 & May 4

A Virtual Reading Group - Zoom Registration Required

Part of the "Abolitionist Futures" series at HISB and supported by the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and HISB in collaboration with the Center for Changing Systems of Power.

Co-led by Robert Chase/History and Zebulon Miletsky/Africana Studies, this reading group will meet via Zoom during Spring 2021 to discuss how racialized policing, mass incarceration, and migrant detentions and deportations constitute what the French theorist Michel Foucault named as a “carceral network.”

The group will read emerging new work and will follow contemporary, on-the-ground developments concerning the construction of carceral states and networks. We will take up the lens of what legal scholar Juliet Stumpf has named “crimmigration” -- the merging of criminal justice law with the U.S. immigration system. In this critical moment of national protest as a democratic expression of outrage, the group will take up the study of Anti-Blackness and Anti-Migration together as a regime of carceral power and will adopt a global approach to systems of racialized policing, incarcerations, border “control” and migration detentions and deportations as a function of interlocking carceral states. As an interdisciplinary seminar, a variety of texts from diverse fields of study will be explored.

In light of a summer of protest as a democratic expression of collective outrage over the murders of Black people due to police violence, this reading group takes up the U.S. carceral network in all its shapes, guises, and forms through the lens of critical race theory and critical historical evaluation.  As the group met last semester to consider these pressing social issues, we are continuing our work and we would like to broaden it to include a more global and transnational approach to carceral studies and a critical examination of carceral states and networks.  For the spring semester, we will have rotating chairs, discussant leaders, readings, and topics for each meeting.

Those interested in participating in this reading group should e-mail

Robert Chase                   

Robert T. Chase is is Associate Professor in History and a scholar of 20th century American history whose research fields include U.S. politics and state-building; civil rights, Black Power and the Chicana/o Movement; and, the history of policing, incarceration, and migrant detention. His two books are We Are Not Slaves: State Violence, Coerced Labor, and Prisoners’ Rights in Postwar America (UNC 2020) and Caging Borders and Carceral States: Incarcerations, Immigrant Detentions, and Resistance (UNC 2019).

Zebulon Miletsky

Zebulon Vance Miletsky, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Africana Studies and History at Stony Brook University. His articles have appeared in the Trotter Review, the Historical Journal of Massachusetts, and the Journal of Urban History. His book, Before Busing: Boston’s Long Freedom Movement in the ‘Cradle of Liberty’ is forthcoming by the University of North Carolina Press in February 2021.



"Lunches with Justice"

Part of the HISB Brown Bag Lunchtime Series

Three Fridays 12:00 - 1:30 pm on Oct 9, Oct 30 and Nov 20

Organizer: Allegra de Laurentiis/Philosophy, HISB 2020-2021 Faculty Fellow

During a time of crisis, calls for "justice" become ubiquitous. Yet what is meant by this in different quarters is far from clear.

We’ll explore multiple meanings of “justice” – compatible and incompatible ones – as they have reached us from the western canon.

Participants in the virtual reading group will discuss A Short History of Distributive Justice  (please purchse ISBN # 0-674-01831-1) by Samuel Fleischacker, accompanied by brief readings from companion materials.

Proposed calendar for our discussions:

Oct 9:A Short History: Epilogue [yes!] + Chapter One, Companion: pp. 1-7

Oct 30:    A Short History: Chapter Two, Companion: pp. 8-10

Nov 20:   A Short History: Chapter Three, Companion: pp. 11-13

Participation is limited. Registration is required.  Please contact for more details.

Allegra de Laurentiis


Allegra de Laurentiis is a Professor in Philosophy at Stony Brook University. Born in Rome, Italy, she studied philosophy in Tübingen, Rome and Frankfurt. Her books include the monograph Subjects in the Ancient and Modern world: On Hegel’s Theory of Subjectivity, the books The Bloomsbury Companion to Hegel (co-editor with Jeffrey Edwards), Hegel and Metaphysics: On Logic and Ontology in the System (editor); and the forthcoming volumes, Life and Psyche in Hegel’s Anthropology (from Northwestern UP) and "Hegel etc.", vol. 3 of Kleine Schriften, Festschrift zu Ehren Manfred Baums (co-edited, from W. DeGruyter).