The UNCG Humanities Network and Consortium (HNAC) will host a lecture by renowned historian Heather Ann Thompson titled “The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy: Why History Matters to Mass Incarceration Today” on Thursday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m. at the International Civil Rights Center & Museum.

Portrait of Heather Ann Thompson

Heather Ann Thompson (Photo by Graham MacIndoe)

The lecture is based on her book “Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy,” which sheds new light on the uprising, the state of New York’s violent response and the victims’ quest for justice. The book, called a “masterly account” by The New York Times, was a 2016 National Book Award finalist.

“Mass incarceration is one of the most pressing problems facing our nation today,” said Dr. Lisa Levenstein, associate professor of history and director of HNAC. “Thompson’s work shows that in order to address the current crisis, we need to understand its historical roots.”

UNCG is partnering with NC A&T State, the International Civil Rights Center & Museum and the National Humanities Alliance to host the lecture, which is free and open to the public. The event is being held in conjunction with States of Incarceration, a national traveling multimedia exhibition on mass incarceration that is on display at the museum. UNCG is one of 20 universities nationwide to participate in this exhibition.

A professor of history at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Thompson focuses her research on the history of mass incarceration and its current impact, and has written about this topic for The New York Times, The Atlantic and Time, among others. She recently served on a National Academy of Sciences blue-ribbon panel that studied the causes and consequences of mass incarceration in the United States and has given congressional briefings on this subject.

To learn more about HNAC and to view upcoming events, visit hnac.uncg.edu.

 

Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Communications