Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Women in Walled Communities: Silence, Voice, Vision

jccohen's picture

 A cluster of three courses in a 360° that focuses on the constraints and agency of individual actors in the institutional settings of women's colleges and prisons. Bryn Mawr College, Fall 2012
(article about the cluster in Bryn Mawr Now)

1-3:30 p.m. Mon, Dec. 17, in Goodhart Teaching Theater:
our final presentations about what we have been learning!

"the boundaries between incarcerative institutions and the wider society were often remarkably punishment receded from public view, the distance between everyday life and the world of penalty was filled with mechanisms of observation, communication, and imagination.... [let us] seek to move beyond the oversimple division between 'inside' and 'outside' that shapes much discussion of prison writing" (Buried Lives: Incarcerated in Early America, x, 236, 234).

Our semester's calendar
Our on-line conversation
Getting Acquainted...and Getting Organized
Instructions for Preparing Your Final 360° Portfolio

Mural of Pioneering Women, A-Z
4400 Haverford Avenue, Philadelphia

Education 290: Learning in Institutional Spaces
(Jody Cohen, TTh 12:45-2:15)

This course considers how two “walled communities,” the institutions of schools and prisons, operate as sites of learning.  Beginning with an examination of the origins of educational and penitential institutions, we examine how these institutions both constrain and propel learning, and how human beings challenge and change their surrounds.

English 228: The Rhetorics of Silence
(Anne Dalke, TTh 2:15-3:45)

This English course will consider silence as a rhetorical art
and political act, an imaginative space and expressive power that can serve many functions, including that of opening new possibilities among us. We will share our own experiences of silence, re-thinking them through the lenses of how it is explained in philosophy, enacted in classrooms, and
performed by various genders, cultures and religions.


General Studies 223: Acting in Prison:
Vision as Resource for Change
(Barb Toews, Friday afternoons--
time varies depending on location;
see course page for details)

This course uses the theme of vision to explore the context and consequences of mass incarceration, daily experiences inside correctional institutions and social movements inspired by incarcerated individuals. Students will explore and apply course materials in campus-based classes and in classes with incarcerated women inside a correctional facility.

To be considered for this 360°, students must have preregistered and submited this questionnaire:



Walled WomenPoster.jpg239.36 KB