Punishment, Politics, and Culture


Amherst, MA



July 1, 2019 - July 26, 2019 (4 weeks)


Summer Program

Summer Program Type

Summer Program Audience



From The Gospel of Matthew to George Bernard Shaw and former Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, many have remarked that how a society punishes reveals its true character. The way a society punishes demonstrates its commitment to standards of judgment and justice, its distinctive views of blame and responsibility, its understandings of mercy and forgiveness, and its particular ways of responding to evil. This four-week seminar will examine the nature and limits of punishment and its place in the American story and will improve participants’ understanding of an important object of humanistic inquiry.

Project Director(s)

Austin Sarat

Visiting Faculty

Amie Keddy

Grantee Institution

Amherst College

Funded through the Division of Education Programs