University of Oregon
Course Title: English 410, Hip Hop: History, Artistry, Culture
Instructor: Professor Betsy Wheeler
Institution Hosting Course: Oregon State Penitentiary
This course follows the development of hip hop music, art, and dance from its early days in the South Bronx of the 1970s to the present. We will discuss hip hop’s artistic innovations, its roots in African American performance traditions, its social context as an urban subculture, and its global reach as a commodity of the entertainment business. Required books include The Anthology of Rap and That’s the Joint!: The Hip Hop Studies Reader. This course is part of the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program and is open to all UO students. Starting in Week 2, the course will meet at Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem. Transportation provided.
Course Title: HC 421, Literature and Ethics: Dostoevsky’s House of the Dead and Crime and Punishment
Instructor: Professor Steven Shankman
Institution Hosting Course: Oregon State Correctional Institute
Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881) is one of the greatest and most influential of modern writers. Dostoevsky’s fiction made a profound impression on Emmanuel Levinas (1906-1995), perhaps the greatest contemporary philosopher on the nature of ethical obligation.
Both Dostoevsky and Levinas were incarcerated early on in their careers: Dostoevsky served a sentence of four years in Siberia for his political activity; Levinas was an officer in the French army during World War II and was captured and imprisoned in Germany by the Nazis for five years. We will begin by reading works of these authors that were written either during or about their years in prison and we will ask how their years in prison might have influenced their later, more mature reflections on the nature of ethics, which Levinas understands as my inescapable responsibility for a unique and irreplaceable other.