Carleton lecture focused on the American death penalty

April 8, 2017

Daniel LaChance ‘01, author and history professor at Emory University, will present “A Lethal Mythology: The Old West and the Modern American Death Penalty” on Wednesday, April 12 from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Gould Library Athenaeum. LaChance will focus on the American death penalty, chronicling its decline in the years following World War II, its revival in the 1970s, and its subsequent use over the past thirty years.

LaChance is Assistant Professor of History and Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Law and the Humanities at Emory University. His work examines the sources, meaning, and effects of the “punitive turn” in the United States, the ratcheting up of incarceration and other forms of harsh punishment in the late 20th century. His book, “Executing Freedom: The Cultural Life of Capital Punishment in the United States” (University of Chicago Press, 2016) examines use of the death penalty in the United States, arguing that shifting ideas about the nature of freedom have reshaped the dominant meaning of capital punishment in America.

LaChance has also contributed to national discussions on the past and present of the American death penalty through opinion pieces and news analyses published by The New York Times, The New Republic, and Newsweek. Articles he has written on this topic have appeared in the journals Law and Social Inquiry, Punishment and Society, and Law, Culture, and the Humanities.

LaChance earned a BA in English from Carleton College and his PhD in American Studies from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

This event is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by the Carleton College Department of American Studies. For more information, including disability accommodations, call (507) 222-5248. The Gould Library is located off College Street on the Carleton campus, and is also accessible via Highway 19 in Northfield.