Big House on the Prairie with John Eason

Lecture Series

October 12, 2017


Coulter Lounge

The International House Global Voices Author Series and the Urban Readers Series present Prof. John Eason (UChicago Sociology Ph.D., 2008) and his book, Big House on the Prairie: Rise of the Rural Ghetto and Prison Proliferation. For the past fifty years, America has been extraordinarily busy prisons. Since 1970, we have tripled the total number of facilities, adding more than 1,200 new prisons to the landscape. This building boom has taken place across the country but is largely concentrated in rural southern towns. Taking us into the decision-making meetings and tracking the impact of prisons on economic development, poverty, and race, Eason demonstrates how groups of elite whites and black leaders share power. Situating prisons within dynamic shifts that rural economics are undergoing and showing how racially diverse communities lobby for prison construction, Big House on the Prairie is a remarkable glimpse into the ways a prison economy takes shape and operates. 

Free and open to the public.

Co-sponsored by the Global Voices Author Series, Urban Readers Series, and the Seminary Co-op Bookstores.