‘A delicate balance’: New paper from Lila McDowell

A new paper by my former doctoral student Lila McDowell has been accepted for publication in Changing English: Studies in Culture and Education. Titled ‘“A delicate balance…”: Language as a tool of identity expression for incarcerated men pursuing higher education’, the article reports on Lila’s doctoral research with undergraduates at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in New York. Using cultural-historical tools – and from an anthropological perspective – Lila studied how a group of men in a writing workshop used higher education to make sense of their lives. You will be able to download Dr McDowell’s paper here shortly.

The higher education programme inside Sing Sing is operated by Hudson Link, a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing educational opportunities for prisoners. I was privileged to attend the 2011 graduation ceremony inside Sing Sing (and got to sit behind Harry Belafonte and Warren Buffet and his sister Doris, some of Hudson Link’s generous funders).

Lila with a client at Exodus Transitional Community in Harlem

Lila with a client at Exodus Transitional Community in Harlem