2024 Annual Public Lecture: Gina Dent

Join CSRPC for its signature event, the Annual Public Lecture, featuring distinguished public intellectuals whose work enhances our understanding of the centrality of racism and white supremacy in the systems we inhabit, and instigates action toward a more just campus, city, and world.

This year we welcome scholar-activist, feminist, and writer, Professor Gina Dent, on the topic of “Visualizing Abolition: How to Imagine a World Without Prisons.” Dr. Dent is Professor of Feminist Studies, History of Consciousness, and Legal Studies; and Humanities Associate Dean of DEI at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is the co-author of the book Abolition. Feminism. Now. along with Angela Y. Davis, Erica R. Meiners, and Beth E. Richie.

6:00-7:00 PM Reception 

7:00-8:00 PM Lecture and Q&A

International House, Assembly Hall

1414 E 59th St, Chicago, IL 60637

Register here!


Gina Dent

About Gina Dent:

Gina Dent Ph.D. is a Humanities Associate Dean of DEI and Professor of Feminist Studies, History of Consciousness, and Legal Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Currently, she serves as PI and Co-Director for the Mellon Foundation-funded Visualizing Abolition (visualizingabolition.ucsc.edu), a project designed to redirect social resources away from prisons by accessing the power of the arts.  Her recent projects also grow out of her decades-long work as an advocate for prison abolition—Abolition. Feminism. Now. (co-authored with Angela Davis, Erica Meiners, and Beth Richie, Haymarket 2022), and the in-progress works Visualizing Abolition (co-edited with Rachel Nelson) and Prison as a Border, on popular culture and the conditions of knowledge.  She is a member of the Scholars for Social Justice and the Portal Project, and works with several organizations nationally and internationally, primarily on justice-related concerns.

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Race & Prison Abolition Discussion Series

CSRPC Beyond Prisons Initiative & Mass Incarceration Working Group presents a two part discussion series in preparation for the CSRPC Annual Public Lecture, Visualizing Abolition: How to Imagine a World Without Prisons by Professor Gina Dent on May 8, 2024.  Sessions are curated and facilitated by Brianna Suslovic, graduate student at the Crown Family School of Social Work, and Beyond Prisons Fellow. 

Lunch will be served!

March 20 | Part I: Abolition Futures Through Art

"How might a project that begins with arts catalyze thinking and dreaming beyond the prison industrial complex—creating new ways of engaging the public with our carceral past while hoping to end its future?"

Gina Dent and Rachel Nelson ask this question when reflecting on their public arts and scholarship project at UC Santa Cruz, Visualizing Abolition.

Participants will be invited to think about the radical potential of art to engage with abolitionist theory, practice, and dreams.  Using audiovisual materials from this study guide for the exhibition Barring Freedom, we will discuss the way that various forms of art might prompt viewers to imagine abolitionist futures.

Race & Prison Abolition Discussion Series Part I: Abolition Futures through Art


April 10 | Part II: Prison as a Border

How is the prison a border? How do global forces shape the dynamics of incarceration and punishment in the United States? How can scholars ethically relate to prisons as sites that reproduce hierarchies of race, gender, class, and geography?

This discussion uses Angela Davis’ & Gina Dent’s published conversation, “Prison as a Border: A Conversation on Gender, Globalization, and Punishment,” as the starting ground to address these questions.  Dent and Davis discuss the history of studying prisons as well as the productive tensions between feminist and abolitionist paradigms for thinking and researching. Using the transcript of this conversation, we will discuss the global politics of incarceration, the role and limitations of scholarship in carceral settings, and the gendered forms of domination that emerge in carceral settings.

Race & Prison Abolition Discussion Series Part II: Prison as a Border

This program is presented by the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture  and Beyond Prisons at the University of Chicago, and co-sponsored by International House.