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Grant number like: FV-50201-09

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Amherst College (Amherst, MA 01002-2372)
Austin D. Sarat (Project Director: March 2009 to March 2011)

Seminars for K-12 Educators
Education Programs

$168,079 (approved)
$168,079 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2009 – 9/30/2010

Punishment, Politics, and Culture

A five-week school teacher summer seminar for sixteen participants on punishment and its place in American culture.

From The Gospel of Matthew to George Bernard Shaw and former Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, many have remarked that how a society punishes reveals its true character. Punishment then tells us who we are. The way a society punishes demonstrates its commitment to standards of judgment and justice, its distinctive views of blame and responsibility, its understandings of mercy and forgiveness, and its particular ways of responding to evil. The Seminar I am proposing, Punishment, Politics, and Culture, will examine the nature and limits of punishment and its place in the "American story." This Seminar will address questions about punishment that go to the heart of humanistic inquiry.