How and why do acts get defined as political rather than criminal? What is the relationship between the rise of ideologies such as fascism, communism and nationalism on the one hand, and the use of political imprisonment on the other? How have humanitarian ideals and the human rights evolution of the 20th century shaped our responses to political imprisonment? How has captivity become a prevalent facet of modern war?
Individuals have long been incarcerated for political reasons, but the phenomenon of mass political imprisonment did not emerge until the 19th century. This course examines the history of political incarceration and captivity since the French Revolution. We will examine several cases, including the use of Concentration Camps in the Second World War, prisoners of conscience such as Pussy Riot, and Guantanamo Bay Detention Center, to consider how imprisonment and captivity have intersected with the political in the modern world. In addition to scholarly works, reading will consist of primary source documents and memoirs. Particular emphasis will be place on Europe, but the course will also include lectures and readings on other geographic regions, including the United States and Latin America, among others.
The University’s seven-week Summer Session, offering credit-bearing courses drawn from across the Brown curriculum and open to rising and graduated high school seniors.Visit Program Page Learn How to Apply