WSU Humanities Fellow Joseph Campbell discusses interdisciplinary approach to prison reform Oct. 18

joecampbellPULLMAN, Wash.—“Moral responsibilities and punishment: An interdisciplinary approach to prison reform” is the topic that Humanities Fellow and professor of politics, philosophy, and public affairs Joseph Campbell will present at 5:30 p.m. Tues., Oct. 18, in Goertzen Hall room 21. The public is invited to this free lecture.

The presentation is both a Humanities Fellow Lecture and an Honors College Distinguished Faculty Lecture. Partnering hosts of the event are the Humanities Planning Group and the WSU Honors College.

Campbell is a 2016-17 Humanities Fellow. Since 2014, Humanities Fellows have been selected by the planning group based on submitted research proposals. The annual appointment allows a grant to promote further research and encourage pursuit of external funding for humanities research. Other fellows for this academic year are Donna Campbell, professor and vice chair of the Dept. of English, and Patricia Glazebrook, professor and director of the School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs. []

“Most of us accept that the U.S. prison system is flawed,” said Campbell.  “Why then have we been so slow to make changes to our costly and faulty prison system?

“My diagnosis is that arguments for prison reform are generally ineffective because the conversation gets stuck on interesting but intractable philosophical disputes, primarily about the nature of ethics and justice. This shifts the attention from the practical to the theoretical, which is contrary to viewing prison reform as a social and political movement.”

Campbell’s presentation is concerned with the academic argument for prison reform, rather than the popular argument, he said.

MEDIA: M. Grant Norton, Dean, WSU Honors College, 509-335-4505, mg_norton

Debbie Brudie, Humanities Planning Group manager, 509-335-6866,