Common Ground#653

Coal, Cages, Crisis: Judah Schept

Featuring Schept, Abby Cunniff, and Jarrod Shanahan


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Author Judah Schept joins Rail contributors Jarrod Shanahan and Abby Cunniff for a conversation. We conclude with a poetry reading by Rider Alsop.

In this talk

Get your copy of Coal, Cages, Crisis: The Rise of the Prison Economy in Central Appalachia by Judah Schept (NYU Press, 2022) →

Judah Schept

Photo of Judah Schept in front of a bookcase.
A Professor in the School of Justice Studies at Eastern Kentucky University, the work of Judah Schept, Ph.D. is grounded in the interdisciplinary field of Critical Prison Studies. His work examines the history, political economy, and cultural logics of the carceral state. He is the author of Coal, Cages, Crisis: The Rise of the Prison Economy in Central Appalachia (New York University Press, 2022) and Progressive Punishment: Job Loss, Jail Growth, and the Neoliberal Logic of Carceral Expansion (NYU Press, 2015). He is co-editor of The Jail is Everywhere: Fighting the New Geography of Mass Incarceration (Verso Books, 2023). His writing can also be found in journals such as Radical Criminology, Punishment & Society, the Boston Review, and others.

Abby Cunniff

A photograph of Abby Cunnif.
A PhD student in environmental studies at University of California, Santa Cruz, the research of Abby Cunniff focuses on the role of prison labor within climate-induced disaster response and mitigation, resting between the fields of climate justice and prison studies.

Jarrod Shanahan

A photograph of Jarrod Shanahan.
Based in Chicago, Jarrod Shanahan is a writer, activist, and educator. He is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Governors State University in University Park, Illinois, and is the author of Captives: How Rikers Island Took New York City Hostage (Verso 2022); coauthor of States of Incarceration: Rebellion, Reform, and the Future of America’s Punishment System (Reaktion Books 2022); a co-editor of Treason to Whiteness Is Loyalty to Humanity (Verso 2022), a Noel Ignatiev reader; and an editor of Hard Crackers: Chronicles of Everyday Life.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poetry reading, and we’re fortunate to have Rider Alsop reading.

Rider Alsop

A photograph of Rider Alsop.
Poet Rider Alsop is the co-founder of Porosity Press and Her audio documentary work has been featured on NPR, CBC, Vox and New York Magazine.

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.