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Death and Other PenaltiesPhilosophy in a Time of Mass Incarceration$
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Geoffrey Adelsberg, Lisa Guenther, and Scott Zeman

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823265299

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823265299.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 03 August 2021

Maroon Philosophy

Maroon Philosophy

An Interview with Russell “Maroon” Shoatz

(p.60) Maroon Philosophy
Death and Other Penalties

Russell “Maroon” Shoatz

Lisa Guenther

Fordham University Press

This chapter presents a written exchange between incarcerated activist and scholar Russell “Maroon” Shoatz and philosophy professor Lisa Guenther. Shoatz was held in solitary confinement for more than twenty-two consecutive years before being released into the general population, thanks to the work of his family, supporters, and the Abolitionist Law Center. In Maroon the Implacable: The Collected Works of Russell Maroon Shoatz (2013), Shoatz describes the decentralized structure of fugitive slave communities and connects this model to contemporary social movements. In the interview presented here, the author reflects on the practical and theoretical implications of his analysis in conversation with Lisa Guenther, author of Solitary Confinement: Social Death and its Afterlives (2013). Shoatz's life and work attest to the legacy of not just slavery but also the resistance to slavery. He offers an alternative history of the Americas—one that does not begin with the “discovery” of a “new world” ready to be conquered but rather with networks of relation and resistance that go beyond the colonial project and offer concrete models of mutual empowerment.

Keywords:   Russell Shoatz, Lisa Guenther, solitary confinement, prisoners, slave communities, social movements, slavery

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