Students in Dr. Judith Giesberg’s History of Nineteenth Century Reform class visited Eastern State Penitentiary (ESP) on May 1, 2008. Students in this seminar examined the historiography of nineteenth century reform movements, including prison reform, transcendentalism, anti-prostitution, temperance, abolitionism, marriage reform, women’s suffrage, sex reform, and child-rescue. ESP opened in 1829 in response to lobbying by the Quaker-run Philadelphia Society for Alleviating the Miseries of Public Prisons, the first prison reform group in the world, in an effort to relieve the overcrowded and unregulated conditions of existing prison facilities. The facility was dedicated to the idea that through solitary confinement, prisoners could be reformed. The idea, referred to as the Pennsylvania System, caught on, and Philadelphia became a destination for reformers from around the world who came to observe the redemptive work underway at ESP. Our study of prison reformers, in particular, underscored how very few Americans still believe in the ambitious idea that criminals can -- and should -- be saved.
The College of Liberal Arts and Science is pleased to offer to its students, faculty, and staff access to Mideastwire.com, an Internet-based news service that employs a team of translators from around the region to gather important stories from and about the Middle East. Its core product is a daily e-mail newsletter to English speaking subscribers that aggregates key English language stories about the Middle East. The majority of English speaking business-persons, students and journalists who have an interest in the affairs of this region are largely unaware of what the Middle East media is covering. Mideastwire.com aims to close this gap by offering a daily e-mail newsletter of concise, translated briefs covering some of the key political, cultural, economic, and opinion pieces appearing in the media of the 22 Arab countries, Iran, and the Arab Diaspora. For more information, please contact Mideastwire.com. To receive the daily email newsletter in English, please send an e-mail to this address — firstname.lastname@example.org — for immediate activation.