The Elsinore Bennu: An Inside-Out Think Tank

The State Correctional Institution at Pittsburgh, PA / Duquesne University

Elsinore Bennu has been meeting each week since the summer of 2013 in the State Correctional Institution at Pittsburgh. This think tank has been the locus of six directed readings for students, welcomed faculty from various disciplines to join the conversation, organized a two-day symposium – involving scores of people and held at several locations – focused on community-engaged teaching and learning, and served as a driving force for a number of research and teaching projects. They are currently in the midst of organizing their next symposium, to be held in March, which dovetails with the Society for Applied Anthropology’s annual conference.

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“Class sessions were not ‘classes’ by the usual standard. They were safety nets, zones by which we could come together and discuss issues commonly significant to all of us, problems and solutions that we felt were important to consider and resolve.”
(Outside Participant)