Worst of the Worst: Changing the Prison Narrative

Clint Terrell : English

Mentor: Hertha Wong, English

There has been a great deal of research on autobiographical literature that feature Native American “captivity narratives,” and African American “slave narratives,” but there is a lack of scholarly work that discusses contemporary “prison narratives.” Clint will analyze autobiographies, specifically prison, slave, and captivity narratives for their themes of literacy as a faculty of redemption and endurance. These autobiographical texts not only narrate the process of recovery, but serves as part of the restoration process. In addition to research, Clint will produce a creative product consisting of his own autobiographical account of imprisonment and his journey to academia. Clint spent approximately 7.5 years incarcerated, beginning as a juvenile and ending as an adult in California State Prison, and he is bringing first-hand knowledge of life inside prison to his research.