Queer and Trans Prison Voices

A Podcast Archive on Prison Abolition

by Josefine Ziebell
Contributor: Justin Rogers-Cooper

This capstone project for the M.A. Program in Liberal Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center is a collaborative and creative project that I developed through my interdisciplinary research at the intersection of Critical Prison Studies, Gender Studies, Sound Studies, and American Studies. The project serves as a digital archive for queer and trans incarcerated voices and consists of two integrative tracks:


The Sonic Archive of Prison Writings, which holds a collection of recorded readings by queer & transgender incarcerated people, and made possible through a collaboration with the American Prison Writing Archive.


The Podcast Series “Queer & Trans Voices,” which features interviews with scholar activists, community organizations and sound artists working towards prison abolition.


Sound, in the form of recorded voices, is a central part of this project. Through the queer and trans voices in the sonic collection of their writing, this capstone website centers a form of scholarship produced by people who are incarcerated. By producing modes of creative scholarship through both the collaboration with incarcerated authors and conversations with scholars, activists, and artists, this project positions scholarly work on abolition with abolitionist praxis.


For more scholarly background to this capstone project, please read the project’s white paper.

“We Find Safety In Each Other,” Kah Yangni, 2020


  • Project's White Paper

    The white paper describes the methodology I developed in dialogue with the works from my interdisciplinary research while outlining the process of developing my capstone. Through further placing my project in the context of The Black Radical Tradition within American Studies, I situate my collaboration with the incarcerated authors and the production of the recordings as part of an abolitionist practice.

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About Me

I’m Josefine, I was a student in the M.A. in Liberal Studies program at the CUNY Graduate Center. Queer and Trans Prison Voices: A Podcast Archive on Prison Abolition is my capstone project for the MALS degree requirement. I am extremely grateful for the grants I received from Elizabeth Macaulay, Executive Officer of the M.A. Program in Liberal Studies, and Matt Gold, Director of the M.A. Program in Digital Humanities, in order to make the recordings and their quality possible. I chose to publish my project on CUNY Manifold because the platform is designed to foster collaborative discourse by providing the possibility to extend scholarly projects with interactive features and commenting tools. I imagine the site to function as a potential point of exchange for students, scholars, artists, and activists, offering the possibility of collaboration going forward. At the moment, I am working on expanding the archive and developing it into an independent exhibition project, more information will be posted here soon.

Please reach out to me at ziebell.josefine@gmail.com if you have any questions about the project.


  • publisher
    The Graduate Center, CUNY
  • publisher place
    New York City, NY
  • rights