Imagining Abolitionist Futures Symposium

March 23-24, 2023

This symposium gathers scholars, artists, activists, and educators who share a common goal: dismantling the carceral state and ending the direct and indirect violence it inflicts every day, especially on our most vulnerable communities.

Over the course of a day and a half, they will prompt both one another and symposium attendees to consider the roles that the arts and humanities can play in this ongoing struggle. Discussion topics will include: art and music by and about incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people; historical and archival research, Black study, counter memory, and the meaning of abolition; feminist and LGBTQ anticarceral expression and movements; abolitionist pedagogy and the position of the university; cultural institutions and the distribution of resources that maintain or disrupt the carceral state; and the COVID pandemic’s ongoing disparate effects on incarcerated people.

Let’s Get Free: The Transformative Art and Activism of the People’s Paper Co-op is part of Imagining Abolitionist Futures, a year-long Hurford Center initiative exploring the role of the arts and humanities in the struggle to dismantle the carceral state and build reparative practices and institutions in the place of a system driven by racism, retribution, and violence. Support for the exhibition has been provided by The Village of Arts and Humanities and Haverford College’s John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities, Office of the President, Office of the Provost, and English Department.