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April 15, 2014

The Color Orange? Social Justice Issues in Orange is the New Black

When: Tuesday, April 15, 2 - 4 pm
Where: 1250 University Hall

Sponsors: Great Cities Institute, IRRPP, Gender & Women's Studies

Series: cosponsored Co-Sponsored


Orange is the New Black is a popular 2013 series produced by Netflix and based upon the memoir of a stereotypical “presumed innocent” protagonist, Piper Kerman. This talk provides an intersectional analysis of both the memoir and television show, drawing upon an analytic frame provided by criminologist Beth Richie, Director of IRRPP. Richie (Arrested Justice, 2012) defines the United States as a “prison nation,” built upon criminalization of poor people of color and ensuring that violence is directed against the most marginalized individuals at personal, community and state levels. While the memoir and the television show address social injustice for the incarcerated, they also paradoxically present these women (often in flashback) as having made ”bad decisions” that ended them up in jail. This neoliberal interpretation will be contrasted to one based in social justice, as outlined by Richie, and others who offer critical race, gender, and feminist criminological perspectives.


Jane Caputi, Ph.D., is Professor of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Communication & Multimedia at Florida Atlantic University. She is the author of several books, most recently Goddesses and Monsters: Women, Myth, Power and Popular Culture and wrote and appeared in an educational documentary, The Pornography of Everyday Life. She is currently working on a new film Green Feminisms: Discovering the Earth Mother/Lover/Other.


This event is free and open to the public. Learn more about the event and read more abut the subject.