Deep Dish - The Erotics of Prison Abolition: A Reading of the Gay Community News Prisoner Pen Pal Project

Thursday, September 10, 2015 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm
Stephanie Murphy, Gender and Women's Studies PhD Candidate
The University of Arizona, McClelland Park Building, 650 North Park Avenue, Room 402
In 1975, Boston based Gay Community News began a prisoner pen pal and personal ad program for incarcerated LGBT identified people. Using research drawn from the Lesbian Herstory Archives, I analyze prisoner correspondence and art submissions to editor Mike Riegle alongside GCN's published pen pal ads. These letters and personal ads illuminate the concerns, needs, and desires that incarcerated women articulated in resisting state violence. I focus on the affective and erotic dimensions of the project to further consider the mutually imbricated political histories of queer worldmaking and prison abolition movements. 
Stephanie Murphy is a PhD candidate in the Department of Gender and Women's Studies. Her research interests include US social formations, urban history and geography, biopolitics, early basketball cultures, and queer and feminist epistemologies.