The high cost of a college education and the persistent worries about both immediate and future employment opportunities have resulted in students and their families doubting the value of the humanities, and all too often, the value of a college degree. These pervasive doubts contrast to the many reports and surveys of employers who stress their preferences for hiring graduates with the very traits the study of humanities imbues: creative thinking, team work, empathy, communication skills, and curiosity. Despite the number of closures of humanities programs and the disappearance of colleges dedicated to the liberal arts, one population of potential students for humanities programs continues to grow: prison inmates. In the US and throughout Europe, prison wardens are welcoming both college programs and individuals who offer both college credit programs and enrichment opportunities to inmates, particularly those programs that offer what workforce training programs do not. These programs and experiences develop in these inmates traits, knowledge, and education they did not experience in their pre-prison lives, and the results of receiving this education are profound.
For this session, please send proposals that explore any of the various prison programs that use the humanities to shape individual lives and prepare individuals as successful returned citizens. Please send proposals of no more than 300 words with a short bio.