Prison Public Memory Project Essay

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August 30, 2012. Read Article

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December 2013. Read Article

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January 17 – 23, 2001. Read Article

The New York Times, Allison Fass: It’s a Documentary Posing as a Web Site,
March 4, 2001. Read Article

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May 21, 2001. Read Article

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U.S. Criminal Justice System, August 10, 2001. Read Article


Beginners Guide To Community Based Arts, Keith Knoght and Matt Schwarzman:
Town Hall in Cyberspace, New Village Press 2005.

New Wight Biennial, twothousandone catalogue, Gloria Sutton:,
October 2011. Read Essay

WHEN: April 21, 2016, 6 - 8 PM

WHERE: Knox Hall, 606 W. 122nd Street, Room 509

The Prison Public Memory Project works with communities and collaborating scholars and artists to discover, preserve, interpret, and present the history of prisons, honor the memories of former prisoners and prison workers, and utilize the past to imagine a future without prisons. Since our beginnings in 2011 in our pilot site in Hudson, NY, oral history has played an important and evolving role in our mission to engage people from all walks of life in conversation and learning about the complex roles of prisons in society. This session will focus on the lessons we’ve learned in Hudson regarding 1) the challenges and benefits of gathering and using oral history in prison host communities that are often rural places and small towns characterized by factionalism and a ‘code of silence’ and 2) the use of the internet to engage a broader public with prison-related oral history interviews. The format for the session will be a combination of short presentations by panelists and interactive activities with session participants.

Tracy Huling has led successful social change efforts in the United States for over 30 years. Her focus for the last 15 years has been on the complex relationship between prisons and rural communities. Her documentary film, Yes, In My Backyard (1999), the first portrait of a rural prison town, was broadcast on public television and screened in community venues across the country, catalyzing numerous other initiatives addressing the dependence of rural areas on prison jobs. In 2001, with the Open Society Institute, she convened a think tank on prisons and rural communities. In 2002, she directed an experimental initiative deploying lawyers and community organizers to support citizen groups across the country opposing the siting of new prisons in their towns. Between 2000 and 2004, she authored five key publications on rural communities and prisons, including "Building a Prison Economy in Rural America” in the book Invisible Punishment: The Collateral Consequences of Mass Incarceration. In 2012, she was awarded a Soros Justice Fellowship to study prison closure and re-purposing and created a national web-based clearinghouse of information on this subject, Today, Ms. Huling directs the Prison Public Memory Project creating 'sites of prison memory in prison host communities.

Quintin Cross guides the Prison Public Memory Project's activities with the African-American community in Hudson, New York. Quintin has a long history of service to the community of Hudson, including as Vice-President of his local NAACP chapter, founder of the Hudson African-American Leadership Alliance, and Majority Leader of the Hudson Common Council. Formerly incarcerated, Quintin is now President and CEO of the Staley B. Keith Social Justice Center, an organization that engages Hudson’s diverse population in the common mission to empower marginalized black men in the community, change the systems which oppress them, and to be role models for a future generation of high achievers. Recently, Quintin was appointed by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference along with 30 other young activists from across the nation to be founding members of the SCLC's Next Generation Leadership Council.

Brian Buckley is the Hudson Site Coordinator for the Prison Public Memory Project. Brian began his work for the Project during the summer of 2013 coordinating public events, community programming, and research projects in Hudson, New York. Brian also advises the Project in integrating new media technology with with more traditional methods of history and storytelling. Brian is currently using the Prison Public Memory Project’s archive of oral histories to supplement his research on the years leading up to the closure of the New York State Training School for Girls, a juvenile prison that operated in Hudson from 1904 to 1975. In 2015, Brian was selected as a Hackman Research Resident at the New York State Archives to continue his research on the Hudson prison. Recently, Brian was invited to present this work as a fellow at the 2015 INCITE Oral History Summer Institute at Columbia University.

SPONSORS: This talk is part of the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Lecture Series, co-sponsored by the Columbia Center for Oral History Research (CCOHR) and the Oral History Master of Arts Program (OHMA). Support from the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE) is provided for programming that embodies late Professor Paul Lazarsfeld’s commitment to improving methodological approaches that address concerns of vital cultural and social significance.

INFORMATION: For more information, please email Amy Starecheski at aas39(at)



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