Graduation Year

2016

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Anthropology

Reader 1

Lara Deeb

Reader 2

Jih-Fei Cheng

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2016 Lauren F Silver

Abstract

This thesis engages in a counter-visual ethnography, using Alcatraz as a site to examine the workings of U.S. memorialization practices and visuality, specifically regarding carcerality. In examining the U.S.’s most popular site of penal tourism, this ethnography aims to provide new vantages from which to perceive of Alcatraz in relationship to the contemporary carceral moment. This is done in part by analyzing the processes of visuality through which hegemonic meanings of carcerality are circulated and consolidated at the site. The work is to at once see and unsee the ways Alcatraz is visually structured, in the process creating alternative ways to perceive of the site in its historical contingencies and relation with the wider workings of the carceral state.

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