University of Oregon

Inside Out Prison Exchange

The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, which was founded at Temple University in 1997, is based on the belief that those of us inside and outside of prison, by studying together and working on issues of crime, justice, and related social concerns, can catalyze changes that will make our communities more inclusive, just, and socially sustainable. The mission of The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is to increase opportunities for men and women, inside and outside prison, to have transformative learning experiences that emphasize collaboration and dialogue and that invite them to take leadership in addressing crime, justice, and other issues of social concern.

Since 2007, Professor Steven Shankman has taught in the Inside-Out Program through the University of Oregon’s Robert D. Clark Honors College, the Oregon State Penitentiary, and the Oregon State Correctional Institution (OSCI). His spring 2012 course is entitled “Literature and Ethics: Levinas and Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate.”

To learn more about the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, visit

To read an article on Inside Out published in Literary Matters, Winter 2010, Vol. 3.1, CLICK HERE.


Wednesday, February 8th in the Honors College Library (Chapman 301) at 4:00.

Applications must be turned in by 5:00 on Friday, February 10th. Applications must be turned in hard copy to the Center for Intercultural Dialogue at 110 Gerlinger hall.

Spring 2012 Classes:

Honors College Colloquium 421H/Inside-Out, Spring 2012 :Literature and Ethics: Levinas and Vasily Grossman’s “Life and Fate”

We will read Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate, perhaps the greatest Russian novel written during the Soviet era, and Is it Righteous to Be?, a series of interviews with perhaps the 20th – century’s greatest philosopher of ethics, Emmanuel Levinas (1905-1995). Life and Fate, a huge, panoramic novel modeled on Tolstoy’s War and Peace, was a work of literature that Levinas almost obsessively referred to – and returned to – in his writings of the last fifteen years of his life. Grossman (1905-1964) passionately asks if, even in the wake the horrors of Nazism and Stalinism, goodness is still possible.

Grossman was a reporter during the Second World War. He covered a number of famous battles, including the Battle of Stalingrad, which is the backdrop of /Life and Fate. /Grossman was also one of the earliest witnesses of the Shoah. As a journalist, he movingly described the conditions he found in Treblinka, a Nazi concentration camp, soon after it was liberated. In collaboration with Professor Peter Laufer, the Wallace Chair of Journalism at the University of Oregon, our class will be the site of the launching of a UNESCO-sponsored conference on “Conflict-Sensitive Reporting,” May 9 – 12, 2013, which will be held at OSCI (May 9) and at the University of Oregon in Eugene (May 10 – 12).

The class will meet Wednesday evenings from 6 – 8:50 at the Oregon State Correctional Institution (OSCI) in Salem. Transportation will be provided.

HC 421 H: Films, Feelings, and Human Nature



To learn more about the Honors College Spring 2011 Inside-Out Prison Exchange courses, please attend the information session on Monday, February 7 in the Honors College Library (Chapman 301) from 3:30 – 4:30 pm.

An application and interview process is required to participate. You may download an application below or pick them up at the information session. You may apply to both courses, but each one requires a separate application. Applications are due Thursday, February 10 by 5 p.m. in Gerlinger 110.

Spring 2011 Courses:

HC 421H – Literature and Ethics: Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov
Professor Steven Shankman – Wednesdays 6 – 8:50 pm (plus travel time to and from Salem)

HC 431H/434H – Post-Conflict Transformation in Northern Ireland
Professor Shaul Cohen – Mondays 6 – 8:50 pm (plus travel time to and from Salem)

“Inside Looking Out” is a 10-minute documentary on the program shot during the spring 2009 course. Tiffany Kimmel and Jessica Reedy, from UO’s School of Journalism and Communication, produced and directed the piece.
Watch it here:

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