"Black Jacob": Attention and Distraction in Captivity

Caleb Smith

Yale University

Caleb Smith is professor of English and American Studies at Yale University. He is the author of The Oracle and the Curse (2013) and The Prison and the American Imagination (2009), the editor of Austin Reed’s 1858 prison memoir, The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict, and a co-editor of No  Crisis, a Los Angeles Review of Books special series on contemporary criticism.


Preaching before the hanging of an African American convict in 1790, one minister prayed, “May he be all attention to the last sermon he will ever hear.” Fifty years later, documenting the spiritual conversion of an... [ view full abstract ]


  1. Caleb Smith (Yale University)

Topic Area



P90 » The Social Climate of Punishment (09:00 - Sunday, 25th March, Fiesta I-II)

Presentation Files

The presenter has not uploaded any presentation files.