Professor Traisnel will offer a new course in the fall through the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program®, a national educational program that brings together incarcerated students and university students to study as peers for one semester. The course provides a life-changing experience that allows the “outside” students to contextualize and rethink what they have learned in the classroom, gaining insights into today’s correctional system and building bridges with men living behind prison walls. At the same time, it challenges people on the inside to place their life experiences in a larger social context, to rekindle their intellectual self-confidence and interest in further education, and to encourage them to recognize their capacity as agents of change in their own lives, as well as in the broader community.


In this class, students will be invited to consider how philosophy, which is often associated with abstract thinking, can address concrete everyday issues. We will study some of the most difficult and abiding questions driving philosophy: What makes a life worth living? How do I know that something is real? Is violence ever justified? What does it mean to be free? We will read, discuss, and reflect on works from thinkers such as Plato, W.E.B. DuBois, Friedrich Nietzsche, Frantz Fanon, and Judith Butler. No prior knowledge of philosophy is required, just the desire to think together and engage big ideas!


Pedagogical, logistical and transportation support will be provided through the office of Community-Engaged Academic Learning (CEAL). For more information on the course, please contact Prof. Antoine Traisnel (