Prison (&) Writing: Contact Zone

Hi, there! Throughout our class at, you will find directions to write in a Reading Journal and links to this WordPress blog. You can respond here by commenting on a post–just type the title of the webpage at our class that sent you here.

I look forward to learning your thoughts as they grow and develop about the exigency that we are studying: the United States prison system as a contact zone:

A “contact zone” is defined primarily in terms of historical circumstances. It is circumscribed in time and space, but with elastic boundaries. Focusing on a contact zone as a way of organizing literary study would mean attempting to include all material relevant to the struggles going on there” (Bizzell, 2003, pg. 482).


As we delve into our reading and listening material this term, keep in mind Patricia Bizzell’s (2003) definition of the “contact zone.” To get started, leave a comment on how you are starting to understand Bizzell’s definition. Thanks!


Bizzell, P. (2003). “Contact zones” and English studies. In Cross-talk in composition theory: A reader. Ed. Victor Villanueva. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English. 479-486.

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