Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Scott Honeycutt

Committee Members

D. Michael Jones, Jesse Graves


The Beat poet Bob Kaufman was in many ways nearly destroyed by the state. Forcible electroshock therapy, repeated targeting by police, repeated brutalization by police, and frequent homelessness all threatened to snuff him out, but Kaufman refused to give in. He remained a political beacon of hope for his community throughout his life, asking those around him to envision a world where he could be free. Through his poems, through the poems of Etheridge Knight and Jimmy Santiago Baca, and through contemporary visions of abolition from Angela Davis and community organizers that become ever more relevant as the prison system continues to destroy its subjects, we can look towards a deeply necessary shift. Envisioning the world without prisons is foreign to many, perhaps even unimaginable. However, with the perspectives I will incorporate in this thesis, the necessity and beauty of envisioning abolition is clear.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.