In this podcast, Celia Chazelle, editor of Why the Middle Ages Matter, and professor at the College of New Jersey, explores how medieval studies can be a means through which to understand the punitiveness of the American prison system. We may no longer be putting people on the rack, but violent punishments are not quintessentially medieval either. Physical violence is intrinsic to the prison system and massive social and economic inequality plagued medieval Europe as it does in the U.S. today. In an exploration of the over-incarceration of Camden, New Jersey residents, and the effects this has on families and communities in the most impoverished and violence-prone city in America, Chazelle puts forth an important argument about respect, honor, and punishment in the medieval past and in today's New Jersey.
This podcast is a recording of the lecture Chazelle presented on November 13, 2013, at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.