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Emily Hainze: “The Early Penal Feminist Imaginary”, a Visiting Scholar Lunchtime Lecture

Time: 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Location: 159 Ryder Hall
Contact: wgss@northeastern.edu

Join the WGSS program for a talk with visiting scholar Emily Hainze, who will talk about her current work in progress. Lunch will be served.

This talk will examine the literary and artistic work produced through mandated educational programming in Framingham Reformatory for Women in Massachusetts and New York State Reformatory for Women in the first decades of the 20th century.  Hainze will explore what she calls the early penal feminist imaginary: white women prison reformers generated a large body of literary and artistic work that envisioned and advocated for the expansion of a new prison system for white women, even though this system punished black women at a significantly higher rate. The talk draws on the reformatories’ institutional case files, which document this artistic work, indexing the prison’s institutional racism as well as incarcerated women’s methods for writing within and against this carceral regime. Hainze asks how we might read literature and art produced within the modernizing women’s prison as both evidence of the reformatory’s coercive, racialized programming and as artistic experimentation responding to the prison’s violence.


Emily Hainze is a postdoctoral fellow at Boston University’s Kilachand Honors College and a Visiting Scholar in WGSS at Northeastern.  She is currently working on a book manuscript focused on the literary and cultural history of women’s incarceration in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Her work has recently appeared in American Literature, Studies in American Fiction and Public Books.

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