DIGITAL 258 - Humanities Themes in Digital Studies
Fall 2022, Section 003 - Digitizing the Carceral State
Instruction Mode: Section 003 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Digital Studies (DIGITAL)
Department: LSA Digital Studies Institute
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 8/29/22 - 12/9/22 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


Calls to end mass incarceration and reform the criminal-legal system are often premised on the introduction of technologies imagined to improve the accuracy, transparency, and accountability of carceral state agencies and enhance public safety. But do public surveillance systems make our communities safer? Are electronic ankle monitors the solution to cash bail? Can body cameras end police violence and prevent misconduct? This course will explore these and other questions by interrogating how carceral technologies—from CCTV and biometric technologies to risk assessment programs and predictive policing—are being deployed to classify, confine, and coerce specific populations. We will discuss the cultural and political-/economic stakes of carceral technology, as well as the question of reform vs. abolition. Together, we will develop an expansive view of “the carceral” by considering how a range of digital technologies extend spaces and logics of confinement into the public sphere, and how these innovations can be resisted and/or reimagined for more liberatory ends.

Course Requirements:

This course is structured around in-class discussions and activities, short written assignments, a midterm essay, and a final project.

Intended Audience:

This course is open and accessible for students across departments and programs—no prior knowledge or experience required! Students interested in critical studies of race, culture, digital media, surveillance, and carcerality are especially encouraged to take this course.


DIGITAL 258 - Humanities Themes in Digital Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
8/29/22 - 12/9/22
002 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
8/29/22 - 12/9/22
003 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
8/29/22 - 12/9/22

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for DIGITAL 258 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi

CourseProfile (Atlas)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)