Home > Catalogue > Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie occidentale > 57 | 2023 > Letteratura e carcere in America. Il caso Theo Padnos

Letteratura e carcere in America. Il caso Theo Padnos

Alessandro Clericuzio    Università degli Studi di Perugia, Italia    



Theo Padnos published My Life Had Stood A Loaded Gun in 2004, when Prison Studies were burgeoning and gaining academic attention globally. Neglected by critics, the book relates the author's experience as literature instructor in an American prison. Engaging methods of pedagogical research and reader-response criticism, the paper investigates the role of literature in the cultural activities of young male inmates in a medium security jail in Vermont. An original amalgam of crime reports, pedagogy of literature, and autobiographical criticism, Padnos' study for the first time confronts young criminals with a literary canon dripping with violence. The experiment sheds light on the reading activities of prisoners, on their and the author's social background, and on the power of American literature to speak to marginal groups.

Oct. 30, 2023
June 1, 2023
March 23, 2023

Keywords: Reader-responsePrison librariesViolenceHuckleberry FinnPedagogy

Copyright: © 2023 Alessandro Clericuzio. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.