Andrews lecturer to discuss the 'prison industrial complex'

Ruth Wilson Gilmore

Ruth Wilson Gilmore, writer, professor of geography and director of the Program in American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, will give a presentation titled The Prison Industrial Complex After 25 Years at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 22, in Chase Hall Lounge, 56 Campus Ave.

The public is invited to attend the 2007 Bertha May Bell Andrews Lecture, sponsored by the chaplain’s office, free of charge. For more information, call the chaplain’s office at 207-786-8272.

A founding member of Critical Resistance, an important national anti-prison organization in the United States, Gilmore is active in the Prison Moratorium Project and California Prison Focus. Her new book, Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis and Occupation in Globalizing California (University of California Press, 2007), analyzes the economic and political changes that led to California’s prison-building boom. She examines the emergence of movements working to dismantle what she calls the prison industrial complex, highlighting the ways community-based activism has been successful in bridging urban-rural, racial and other divides to achieve victories against the growing prison system.

Gilmore received her doctorate from Rutgers University. A widely published author, her interests include race and gender, labor and social movements, uneven development, politics and culture, California, North America and the African Diaspora. Gilmore says, “I became a geographer to engage with questions of how we make the world and ourselves, and to study how everyday people do so with the dream of justice, equality, and beauty for all.”

A signature talk at Bates since 1975, the Andrews Lecture is a memorial to Bertha May Bell Andrews, who served on the Bates faculty from 1913 to 1917 and established the women’s physical education program at the college. Her son, Dr. Carl B. Andrews ’40, established the lectureship.

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