Innovative Interdisciplinary Courses

Fall 2022 

INTD 188 Race, Prison and Policing

Instructors: Amanda L. Roth (Departments of Philosophy and Women's and Gender Studies), William S. Lofquist (Department of Sociology), Bruno Renero-Hannan (Department of Anthropology)

Course Description

Recent social movements have highlighted the disproportionate effects of policing and imprisonment on communities of color in the United States. This interdisciplinary course introduces students to these issues of inequality and social justice in the current US context. We will focus on how policing and prisons, past and present, are deeply imbricated with racial inequality, while also considering how other structural inequalities (e.g., citizenship/migration status, class, gender, sexuality) shape experiences of criminalization and justice. Students will be exposed to multiple humanities, social science, and activist perspectives on these issues.

An Interdisciplinary Approach: Perspectives from the Course Instructors

Amanda Roth, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Women's and Gender Studies

"In my view mass incarceration and the larger carceral system is one of the most pressing moral and social problems in our society that interacts with every sort of structural inequality and marginalized identity group. But it's the kind of problem that does not tend to fall within any particular disciplinary area, nor even any given existing interdisciplinary program (such as Women's and Gender Studies or Black Studies). So a new interdisciplinary course that takes up these issues head on from multiple perspectives seems like an ideal avenue for bringing these issues into the purview of Geneseo students. I think the co-teaching model with three instructors from various disciplinary areas and also at different points in our careers will help showcase to the first year students who will be taking the course many of the strengths of Geneseo--the value of interdisciplinarity, The importance of focusing moral attention on injustices and marginalized groups, and the teacher scholar model of bringing one's own research into the classroom"


William Lofquist, Professor of Sociology

"Contemporary American problems related to race, policing, and punishment are neither new nor unfamiliar; they are inextricably tied to long histories of racial oppression and exploitation. An interdisciplinary approach, bringing together anthropological, philosophical, and sociological perspectives, is critical to understanding the origins and operations of our vast carceral system and imagining alternative futures."