A new special issue of Synapsis, guest-edited by Neni
Panourgiá, Justice-in-Education and Covid-19
collects auto-ethnographies of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated writers—the Justice-in-Education scholars—as they respond to the initial Covid-19 lockdown in NYC. This is a landmark issue that presents marginalized voices reporting on their experience of the Covid-19 crisis through the theoretical lens of the health humanities.
The collection was inspired by a notion that had gained traction in the media, comparing “lockdown” to prison and solitary confinement. Someone posted on social media a note saying “the lockdown is my Attica,” referring to the maximum-security prison in upstate New York. The writers took particular exception to this notion and wanted to address it.
The special issue includes 10 auto-ethnographic contributions, framed with a critical introduction and conclusion and interspersed with a botanical photo essay by the guest editor, Neni Panourgiá. Professor Neni Panourgiá is an anthropologist, Academic Advisor for the Justice-in-Education Initiative, and Faculty at the Prison Education Program at Columbia University.
Table of Contents
Introduction // Neni Panourgiá
Crushing Bones // Ivan Calaff
Letter to America // Eileen Maher
Polo Grounds. A Photographic Essay // Levar Henry
Autoethnography in her own song & lyrics // Egypt Dior
Visibility // Luke Lyons
Toothbrush // Tone Shewprashad
Intersectionalities—rage, fear, fearlessness // Helen "Skip" Skipper
Sociabilities, socialities, violences // Nascimento Blair
Pillows // Tanya Pierce
A piece of advice on how not to go crazy during a lockdown // Shawn Williams
Medical Humanities, COVID-19, and States of Confinement // Neni Panourgiá