January 26, 2022 5 p.m.End:
January 26, 2022 6:30 p.m.
Solitary Confinement and the Meaning of Existence
Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022
The testimony of prisoners in solitary confinement shows that prolonged isolation has a profound effect on their sense of time, space, and identity, to the point of making some people feel like they no longer exist. Why do we do this to people in the name of justice? And what does this testimony teach us about the existential structure of personhood?
Lisa Guenther is Queen’s National Scholar in Political Philosophy and Critical Prison Studies at Queen’s University in Canada. She is the author of Solitary Confinement: Social Death and its Afterlives (2013) and co-editor of Death and Other Penalties: Philosophy in a Time of Mass Incarceration (2015). She is currently working on a critical phenomenology of prison abolition and decolonization on Turtle Island.