Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor of Psychology at North Carolina State University. Author of Taking on diversity: How we can move from anxiety to respect and To Live Woke: Thoughts to carry in our struggle to save the soul of America 


December 17, 2020 | 7:00pm – 8:30pm


Examination of our Current Criminal Justice System through the Lens of the 1971 Attica Prison Uprising


Dr. Heather Ann Thompson is a historian at the University of Michigan, and is the Pulitzer Prize and Bancroft Prize-winning author of Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy(Pantheon Books, 2016). Blood in the Waterwon the Ridenhour Prize, the J. Willard Hurst Prize, the Public Information Award from the New York Bar Association, the Law and Literature Prize from the New York County Bar Association, the Media for a Just Society Award from the National Council for Crime and Delinquency, and the book also received a rarely-given Honorable Mention for the Silver Gavel Award from the American Bar Association. Blood in the Waterwas also long listed for the Cundill Prize in History, and was a finalist for the National Book Award as well as the Los Angeles Times Book Award.

Thompson is a public intellectual who writes extensively on the history of policing, mass incarceration and the current criminal justice system for The New York Times, Newsweek, Time, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Jacobin, The Atlantic, Salon, Dissent, NBC, New Labor Forum, The Daily Beast, and The Huffington Post, as well as for the top publications in her field. Her award-winning scholarly articles include: “Why Mass Incarceration Matters: Rethinking Crisis, Decline and Transformation in the Postwar United States,” Journal of American History (December 2010) and “Rethinking Working Class Struggle through the Lens of the Carceral State: Toward a Labor History of Inmates and Guards.” Labor: Studies in the Working Class History of the Americas (Fall, 2011). Thompson’s piece in the Atlantic Monthly on how mass incarceration has distorted democracy in America was named a finalist for a best magazine article award in 2014.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Thompson. 

Pre-session Recommended Reading

Dr. Thompson’s book, Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy, is available for order from McIntyre’s Books.

When purchased through McIntyre’s Books, enter code HIGHERGROUND  at check-out to receive a 20% discount.

Her article “Why Mass Incarceration Matters: Rethinking Crisis, Decline, and Transformation in Postwar American History” is available.

Dr. Thompson’s digital articles as seen in The Atlantic, Inner City Violence in the Age of Mass Incarceration is available.

Dr. Thompson’s digital articles as seen in The Atlantic, How Prisons Change the Balance of Power in America is available.