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The criminalization of black men


Admission requirements



No Western country puts so much of its inhabitants in prison as the United States. This large prison population is not evenly distributed among the different social and ethnic groups. Black Americans are heavily overrepresented, around 50% of the prison population is black, while blacks constitute only around 10% of the American population. It is only since the last decades of the 20th century that the number of black prisoners starts to rise alarmingly. Earlier in the 20th century, the number of black prisoners was much more consistent with the number of blacks living in the United States at that time. During this course we shall try to find out what are the reasons behind this phenomenon.

Course objectives

Insight in relevant literature and theories. To be able to give verbal and written reports on the study of secondary literature and sources.


See here.

Mode of instruction

Research seminar.

Assessment method

  • Verbal presentations and participation in group discussions 20 %

  • Final paper 80%.



Reading list

  • Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow. Mass incarceration in the age of Colorblindness (New York 2010)

  • Khalil Gibran Muhammad, The Condemnation of Blackness. Race, Crime and the making of Modern Urban America (Harvard University Press 2010)


via uSis.

Contact information

E-mail: Dr Q.C. Quispel.