Amherst College will host an NEH summer seminar for school teachers. The seminar, entitled "Punishment, Politics and Culture", is scheduled for June 30 through August 1, 2003.
The subject of punishment shows up in the curriculum of schools across the country, in history, social studies, and literature courses to name just a few. School teachers regularly teach texts in which the fact of punishment, its purposes, or its fairness are central issues. Moreover, students often have direct experience with law enforcement and bring those experiences, and their complex reactions to them, to school.
This seminar will address three questions about punishment that go to the heart of humanistic inquiry.
1. What is punishment and why do we punish as we do?
2. What can we learn about politics, law, and culture in the United States from an examination of our practices of punishment?
3. What are the appropriate limits of punishment?
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