Typing Corrections: An Exploration & Performance of Prison (Type)Writing

Alexander Rahe, Daniel Wuebben


This article has been written about, and with, the Swintec 2410cc, the typewriter model approved for incarcerated writers in the state of Nebraska and many other prison systems across the United States. The co-authors, one of whom is currently serving a six-year sentence, relate their personal experiences with typewriters and typists as well as connect functions described in the Swintec User Manual to issues in community literacy. The "Left/Right Margin" function reflects some of the institutional and material constraints prison typewriters face; "Impression Control" invites us to think about the forces and functions governing representations of prison and prison writing; this writing tool and the environment for which it was designed, demand one submit to the process of "Corrections." Finally, this typewritten performances models and attempts to enact critical literacy and social justice from within and beyond the typewriter's cage.

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Publication of the Community Literacy Journal is made possible through the generous support of the English Department and the Writing and Rhetoric Program at Florida International University. The CLJ is a journal of the Conference on Community Writing.