In an upcoming lecture at University of Lynchburg, a Harvard professor well known for his expertise on race and criminal justice will speak about the historical context of America’s high prison population.
Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad will present “Why History Matters in the Age of Mass Incarceration” on Thursday, March 30, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. in Sydnor Performance Hall for the 2017 John M. Turner Lecture in the Humanities. The event is free and open to the public.
Dr. Muhammad’s perspective on race and criminal justice has been included in recent cable television interviews as well as print publications, including an opinion piece in the New York Times on Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year. His appearance at University of Lynchburg will give local residents and students the opportunity to hear from one of the nation’s foremost thinkers on issues related to crime, punishment, and race.
“Professor Muhammad’s research concerns race and the construction of criminality in the United States,” said Dr. Brian Crim, the John M. Turner Distinguished Chair in the Humanities. “From his award-winning book The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America to his involvement in Ava Duvernay’s powerful documentary 13th, Professor Muhammad is skilled at contextualizing the racial dimension of mass incarceration.”
Dr. Muhammad is a public intellectual whose work is well known in several fields, including history, sociology, and African American studies. Much of his academic scholarship focuses on race and the construction of criminality in the United States. His first book, The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America won the 2011 John Hope Franklin Publication Prize for the best book in American studies. His current research examines the origins of the carceral state in the United States. Prior to coming to Harvard, Muhammad served as the director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of the New York Public Library, one of the nation’s premier research facilities dedicated to African American history and the study of the African diaspora.
The John M. Turner Lecture in the Humanities was established in 1992 by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and contributions from alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of University of Lynchburg. The John M. Turner Distinguished Chair in the Humanities and the Turner Lecture were named in honor of Dr. John Mills Turner ’29, English professor, dean of the College, vice president for academic affairs, and one of the most beloved and respected members of the University of Lynchburg community for forty-one years (1933-74).