Eva Hannan

Feminization of Labor in the U.S. Prison-Industrial Complex

My project follows two trends that have developed since the 1970s and appear to converge on the site of the imprisoned female body. The first trend is the globalized “feminization of labor,” where large numbers of women join the workforce. The second is the increasing number of females incarcerated within the United States. Specifically, I want to examine the rhetoric of records and documents concerning the female prison laborer. I am interested to see how the language that dictates the subjectivity of women in prison has shifted, as its population has increased over time, and in comparison to their male counterparts. I will examine public records from government agencies and corporations, contracts for prison labor, news coverage and political messaging. I will look for patterns and trends in language that describe these women, their labor and their imprisonment.

Message to Sponsor

I would like to thank the Anselm Arts & Humanities fund for the opportunity to make my senior honors thesis project better than I ever thought possible. Having the time and funds to do research full-time this summer is a game changer, and I look forward to continuing my exploration of gendered subjects within capitalist society.
  • Major: Rhetoric
  • Sponsor: Anselm Fund
  • Mentor: Marianne Constable