UNC Press is proud to support the statement below from Senior Editor Brandon Proia, in response to the recent firing of historian and author Garrett Felber.
This week I was dismayed to learn that the University of Mississippi has fired historian Garrett Felber. I have worked with Garrett for years now, both as his editor and as his collaborator in efforts to get books into the hands of those behind prison walls. I know first-hand that he is a formidable thinker, organizer, writer, and human being. His book, Those Who Know Don’t Say, introduced me to the notion of a “dialectics of discipline” between the captive and the captor, between organized repression and those who resist. It’s a straightforward concept: as repression changes its shape, resistance changes too.
There have been far, far too many instances of repression of scholar-activists lately. As publishers, we have the responsibility of broadcasting scholars’ work to the wider world. When scholars face retaliation, particularly within the university itself, our responsibility increases.
Like so many others, I stand in solidarity with Garrett. I intend to amplify awareness about what’s happening and to urge others to channel their support to the Study and Struggle program, which serves those imprisoned in Mississippi. But there is more that can be done.
Moments of struggle also demand study. My colleagues at UNC Press and I understand that there are additional tools available to publishers, and in times like this it is our responsibility to use them. To that end, and with Garrett’s support, UNC Press is making Those Who Know Don’t Say freely available online. We hope that it will help inform the conversation about Garrett’s work, carceral history, and organizing for freedom of all kinds and on all fronts.
To access the free ebook, click here.