Upcoming Events

Dec. 3: EJP Monthly Forum: Life After Prison
Join us for a documentary screening of The Long Shadow of Incarceration’s Stigma.

Recent Blog Posts

list/links to recent blog posts (not editable on this page)

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Many members of the Education Justice Project present academic conference papers and publish articles about prison education and related topics. Demonstrating the positive impacts of prison higher education upon diverse populations is a part of EJP’s mission, and all members of EJP—faculty, graduate students, incarcerated EJP students, and community partners—are encouraged to participate in this important aspect of our work. We invite you to browse the bibliography below, to cite relevant scholarship in your own work, and to directly contact any of the authors if you have similar interests or questions.

Program Development and Evaluation

Kurisu, Sheri-Lynn. (2012, October). Families of the incarcerated. Forum presented as part of Beyond Lines: Limited Expressions from the Men within Danville Prison Art Exhibit at the University YMCA, Urbana, IL.

  • It can sometimes be a relief to family members when a loved one engaged in criminal activities lands in prison, but the families and communities of incarcerated men and women also endure hardships associated with such incarceration. The costs they pay include the pain of separation, the expense of visits and phone calls—even while they do without their loved one’s contribution to the household income, and bearing the stigma of having a family member in prison. At this forum we’ll view some clips to better understand the situation of family members, hear from people with personal experience, and learn about efforts to mitigate the impacts of incarceration. This forum will be chaired by Sheri-Lynn Kurisu, coordinator of the Education Justice Project’s FACE (Family and Community Engagement) program.

Ginsburg, Rebecca. (2012, March). Creating and sustaining a prison education program. Paper presented at a workshop on “Opening Prison Gates: Creating, Sustaining, Researching, and Extending Literacy Programs behind Bars” at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, St. Louis, MO.

Ginsburg, Rebecca. (2011, November). The University of Illinois’ Education Justice Project’s evaluation program. Paper presented at a panel on Assessment Tools at the National Conference on Prison Higher Education, Seattle, Washington.

Ginsburg, Rebecca. (2010, October). Education Justice Project: Family and Community Engagement. Paper presented at the Symposium on Higher Education in Prison: Strategies for Action, Urbana, IL.

Higher Education in Prison

Ginsburg, Rebecca, Kilgore, James, Scott, Rob, von Shelby, Russell, & Wright, Darrell. (2012, September). Higher education in prison. Panel presented as part of Beyond Lines: Limited Expressions from the Men within Danville Prison Art Exhibit at the University YMCA, Urbana, IL.

  • Research demonstrates that no prison-based intervention does more to reduce recidivism than prison education. Evidence also suggests that the benefits of prison education extend well beyond recidivism, for example creating safer environments within the prison and impacting family members on the outside. This symposium addresses the history of prison education programming in the US, its current state, and challenges and opportunities for innovative and critical prison education. Panel participants include instructors and formerly incarcerated students from a range of different prison program types who will speak to their experiences in prison ed programs as well as addressing larger education policy questions.

Tuszynska, Agnieszka. (2012). What I learned from teaching in a prison. IPRH blog. Retrieved from http://iprh.wordpress.com/2012/01/28/what-ive-learned-from-teaching-in-a-prison-agnieszka-tuszynska/

Bishop, Hugh, Petty, Audrey, Tuszynska, Agnieszka, & Sullivan, William. (2011, November). What I’ve learned from teaching in a prison: Education Justice Project. Panel presented at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, Urbana, IL.

Ginsburg, Rebecca. (2011, May). Prison education and the Reasonable Person Model. Paper presented at the Environmental Design Research Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.

Ginsburg, Rebecca. (2010, November). Locked up and locked out? Higher education and searching for the American Dream in prison. Paper presented at the University Y Friday Forum, Urbana, IL.

Ginsburg, Rebecca, & Kurhajec, Anna. (2010, November). Participants in the roundtable on the value of higher education in prisons, American Studies Association, San Antonio, TX.

Micale, Mark, Otto, Dannie, Pinkert, Anke, & Kilgore, James. (2010, November). What I’ve learned from teaching in a prison: Education Justice Project. Panel presented at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, Urbana, IL.

Dace, Tracy, Ginsburg, Rebecca, & Kurhajec, Anna. (2010, April). The challenge and promise of prison higher education programs. Papers presented at the Diversity and Democracy, Conference of the Center for Democracy in a Multiracial Society, Urbana, IL.

Kurhajec, Anna, & Patel, Rushika, with Earl M. Walker, Johnny Page, Mr. Robert Matthew Reed, Daniel Graves, Leroy Brown, Robert Garite, Larry Brent, Jr., Tyrone F. Muhammad, Otilio E. Rosas, William Wells, Michael Brawn, David Staples, Carlton Gray. (2010, April). Social justice and higher education from the prison industrial complex. Panel at the 2nd Annual Undergraduate and Graduate Social Justice Conference, Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL.

  • Description: This is a special panel highlighting thirteen incarcerated University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign students from Danville Correctional Facility who are participating in the Education Justice Project. In a competitive process open to all students they submitted essays describing what social justice means to them in the context of education and incarceration. The panel organizers, who are also involved in the project, will be presenting a video in which the students present their own work.

Lieberman, Jenni, Ruggles, D. Fairchild, & Scott, Rob. (2010, February). Reflections on prison teaching: Education Justice Project. Panel presented at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, Urbana, IL.

Colson, Dan, Kurhajec, Anna, Rasmussen, Rachel, Sullivan, William, & Walkiewicz, Katie. (2009, October). What I’ve learned from teaching in a prison: Humanities at Danville Correctional Center. Panel presented at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, Urbana, IL.

Teaching Writing, Performance, and the Humanities in Prison


Pinkert, Anke, Brawn, Michael, Cabrales, Jose, & Donatelli, Gregory. (forthcoming). The transformative power of Holocaust education in prison: A teacher and student account. Radical Teacher.

Pinkert, Anke. (forthcoming). Rethinking the Humanities through teaching the Holocaust in prison. Studies in Law, Politics, and Society (special issue, ed. by Doran Larson).

Symes, Carol. (forthcoming). The Shakespeare teacher: Shakespeare’s Globe and the prisoner’s world. In A. Burton (Ed.), The feedback loop: Historians talk about the links between research and teaching. Washington, DC: American Historical Association.

Berry, Patrick. (2013, March). Prison stories and ethics in conducting research. Paper presented at a workshop on Making Lives Behind Bars Visible: Literacy Programs and Activism at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, Las Vegas, NV.

Berry, Patrick. (2012, November). This I believe: Literacy, prison, and possibility. Invited paper at the annual meeting of the Social Science History Association, Vancouver, British Columbia.

Berry, Patrick. (2012, October). The literacy payoff: Promises from Prison. Paper presented at the Thomas R. Watson Conference on Rhetoric and Composition, Louisville, KY.

Symes, Carol. (2012, October). Staging Shakespeare at Danville prison. Presentation given as part of Beyond Lines: Limited Expressions from the Men within Danville Prison Art Exhibit at the University YMCA, Urbana, IL.

  • In January the students of the Education Justice Project staged Our Play, a compilation of scenes from various Shakespeare plays. Join us for a behind-the-scenes look at what it took to host the production and interviews with the incarcerated actors and the director, UIUC Theatre and History professor Carol Symes.

Nava, Erick, Garner, Chris, & Torres, Augie. (2012, September 20). Reflections on participating in an art exhibit in the outside world. Kritik. Retrieved from http://unitcrit.blogspot.com/2012/09/reflections-on-participating-in-art.html

Symes, Carol. (2012). The EJP experience. In M. Micale & C. Koslofsky (Eds.), History @ Illinois (p. 10). Urbana, IL: UIUC Department of History.

Berry, Patrick. (2012, May). Why I teach in prison. Paper presented at a Syracuse University conference on Activism, Rhetoric, and Research, Syracuse, NY.

Panel, “Outreaching Identities: Publishing and Performance from the Prison-industrial Complex,” Rhetoric Society of America Conference, Philadelphia, PA.

  • Holding, Cory. (2012, May). Gestures Less Revelatory: Revisiting Performance in Prison.
  • Berry, Patrick. (2012, May). Prison IDs: Contradictory Visions of Literacy, Schooling, and Identity.
  • Olinger, Andrea, with Otilio E. Rosas. (2012, May). Behind the Collective “We”: The Politics of Coauthoring in Prison.

Rouillon, Vanessa, and Webber, Martha. (2012, March). Representing the writing center: Activism in and beyond center locations. Round Robin session presented at the International Writing Centers Association (IWCA) Collaborative @ CCCC, St. Louis, MO.

Berry, Patrick. (2012, March). Ethnography of a prison. Paper presented at a workshop on “Opening Prison Gates: Creating, Sustaining, Researching, and Extending Literacy Programs behind Bars” at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, St. Louis, MO.

Holding, Cory. (2012, March). Rhetoric and performance in prison. Paper presented at a workshop on “Opening Prison Gates: Creating, Sustaining, Researching, and Extending Literacy Programs behind Bars” at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, St. Louis, MO.

Pinkert, Anke, with Michael Brawn, Jose Cabrales, and Gregory Donatelli. (2012, March). Mending communities through Holocaust education in prison. Paper presented at a panel on Trauma, Recovery, and Community at the Annual Meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association, Providence, RI.

Webber, Martha, Petty, Audrey, Haber, Baron, Sayre-Roberts, Amy, & Holding, Cory. (2012, February-March). Writing from the inside: Pedagogical concerns for teaching creative writing in prisons. Panel presented at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Annual Conference, Chicago, IL.

Pinkert, Anke. (2011, April). Rethinking the humanities though higher education in prison. Paper presented at the Midwest Symposium of German Studies, Urbana, IL.

Panel, “Literacy, Incarceration, and the Making of Teachers,” Conference on College Composition and Communication, Atlanta, GA.

  • Berry, Patrick. (2011, April). Literacy narratives and prison relations.
  • Colson, Dan. (2011, April). From the cellblock to the quad: Geographies of prejudice.
  • Holding, Cory. (2011, April). Configuring conviction, performing in prison.

Berry, Patrick. (2011, April). Time and doing time with literacy narratives. Paper presented for a panel on Prison Writing: Pedagogy, Representation, Research and Action at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, Atlanta, GA.

Berry, Patrick. (2011, January). Time and doing time with literacy narratives. Paper presented at the Modern Language Association Convention, Los Angeles, CA.

Berry, Patrick. (2010, October). More than words: Prison matters and materials. Paper presented at the annual convention of the National Council for Teachers of English, Orlando, FL.

Berry, Patrick. (2010, May). Virtual-less home: Online compositions from prison. Paper presented at the Computers and Writing conference, West Lafayette, IN.

Berry, Patrick. (2010, May). Reading, writing and recidivism: Rhetorics of literacy in the prison classroom. Paper presented at the biennial conference of the Rhetoric Society of America, Minneapolis, MN.

Berry, Patrick. (2010, March). Prison business: A contextual approach to teaching professional writing. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing, Louisville, KY.

Berry, Patrick. (2010, March). Literacy promises: Teachers, composition, and the prison. Paper presented at the Qualitative Research Network of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, Louisville, KY.

Colson, Dan. (2009, November). Teaching in the panopticon: Prison literature and pedagogy. Paper presented at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association convention, Atlanta, GA.

English as a Second Language in Prison


Olinger, Andrea, Bishop, Hugh, Cabrales, Jose R., Ginsburg, Rebecca, Mapp, Joseph L., Mayorga, Orlando, Nava, Erick, Nunez, Elfego, Rosas, Otilio, Slater, Andre D., Sorenson, LuAnn, Sosnowski, Jim, Torres, Agustin. (2012). Prisoners teaching ESL: A learning community among “Language Partners.” Teaching English in the Two-Year College (special issue on ESL in Diverse Voices and Genres).

Sustainable Prison Landscapes

Moen, Bridgette, and Sullivan, William. (2012, March). Landscape laboratory at Danville prison. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture, Champaign, IL.

Sullivan, William. (2011, May). RPM and the sustainable prison landscape. Paper presented at the Environmental Design Research Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.

Incarcerated Student Activism


Ginsburg, Rebecca . (2011, August). The Education Justice Project’s Chicago youth violence initiative. Paper presented at the Association of Black Sociologists’ Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, NV.

Other Topics


Pinkert, Anke. (2012, September). Prisons in the media. Presentation given as part of Beyond Lines: Limited Expressions from the Men within Danville Prison Art Exhibit at the University YMCA, Urbana, IL.

  • Join us at a discussion about the depiction of prisons and incarcerated men and women in the media. We’ll screen clips from television shows, commercials, movies, and more and explore what these representations suggest about dominant attitudes towards incarcerated people, how this differs from the reality, and what can be done to combat the stereotypes that exist.

Scott, Rob, Fullilove, Willie, Muhammad, Tyrone Farrakhan, Nava, Erick, Saucedo, Luis, Walker, Earl, & Wells, William. (2011, April). Analysis of trends in New York Times reporting on education in 2010. Paper presented at the 2nd Annual College of Education Graduate Student Conference, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL.