Barnard College Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship
2019 Annual Distinguished Lecture
What is the cultural and political purpose of higher education in an era of mass incarceration?
Criminology is one of the fastest growing interdisciplinary fields of study in the US. The study of Criminology in an era of mass incarceration, and neoliberalism demands that traditional pedagogical models be reconsidered. Widened income inequality, coupled with increased state surveillance and formal control, has increased structural violence and fully exposed the role of racism in the development and maintenance of the US criminal justice system. To build a new program in Criminology, particularly in the city of Chicago, that marginalizes or ignores this reality is both irresponsible and, Lazu argues, detrimental to the role of higher education as it adjusts to the demands of the 21st century learner. In this lecture, Professor Jacqueline Lazú examines the various intentions and dynamics that shape higher education curricula in general, and Criminology curricula specifically, which have traditionally privileged administrative perspectives.
Jacqueline Lazú is Associate Professor of Modern Languages, and Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences at DePaul University, Chicago. Her work focuses on Latino and Caribbean literature and culture, aesthetics, communities, and social movements. She previously directed the Community Service Program at DePaul and is currently serving as co-founder and interim chair of Criminology. She received her PhD in Spanish at Stanford University.