Past Event

Elective Studies Supper Club Vol. 15: Beth Richie

In partnership with Land & Sea Dept., Illinois Humanities presents the next volume of the Elective Studies Supper Club for Illinois artists, featuring a lecture by scholar and activist Beth Richie, a meal by chef Lamar Moore of Smoke-Daddy, and an opening drink by Land & Sea Dept. Beverage Director Paul McGee.

This event is part of our Elective Studies series, created to help artists find inspiration from the world around them. Through a combination of lectures by top-tier experts and meals crafted by the city’s finest chefs, these convenings are designed to unite, inspire, nourish, and connect.

This year’s Elective Studies series converges with Envisioning Justice, which is an initiative created and facilitated by Illinois Humanities using the arts and humanities to engage Chicagoans in a citywide conversation about the impact of incarceration and jails with the goal of imagining a new criminal justice system.

With generous sponsorship by Letherbee Distillers and Lagunitas Brewing Co..

More on the Lecture:

Lecture: “Arrested Justice: Black Feminist Reflections on Violence and The Build Up of a Prison Nation”
Beth Richie
University of Illinois at Chicago

Using the framework of carceral feminism, Beth Richie’s talk will focus on the problem of gender violence and the ways that mainstream responses have exacerbated the consequences for Black women, other women of color, queer and trans people, and others who are targets by the process of criminalization. The presentation will focus on what Richie calls “the build up of a prison nation” to describe how structural racism, heteropatriarchy, classism, and other forms of domination conspire to leave certain groups vulnerable to both violence and incarceration. She makes the case for a politic of prison abolition as an aspirational approach to reversing the dangerous tide of mass criminalization of Black women who experience gender violence and other vulnerable groups.

Beth E. Richie is Head of the Department of Criminology, Law and Justice and Professor of African American Studies at The University of Illinois at Chicago. The emphasis of her scholarly and activist work has been on the ways that race/ethnicity and social position affect women’s experience of violence and incarceration, focusing on the experiences of African American battered women and sexual assault survivors. Dr. Richie is the author of Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence and America’s Prison Nation (NYU Press, 2012) which chronicles the evolution of the contemporary anti-violence movement during the time of mass incarceration in the United States and numerous articles concerning Black feminism and gender violence, race, and criminal justice policy, and the social dynamics around issues of sexuality, prison abolition, and grassroots organizations in African American Communities. Her earlier book Compelled to Crime: the Gender Entrapment of Black Battered Women, is taught in many college courses and is cited in the popular press for its original arguments concerning race, gender, and crime. Dr. Richie’s work has been supported by grants from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Ford Foundation, The National Institute for Justice, and The National Institute of Corrections. She has been awarded the Audre Lorde Legacy Award from the Union Institute, The Advocacy Award from the US Department of Health and Human Services, The Visionary Award from the Violence Intervention Project, and the UIC Woman of the Year Award. Dr. Richie is a board member of The Institute on Domestic Violence in the African Community, The National Network for Women in Prison, A Call To Men, and a founding member of INCITE!: Women of Color Against Violence. In 2013 she was awarded an Honorary Degree from the City University of New York Law School and in 2014 she was appointed as a Sr. Advisor to the NFL to work on their domestic violence and sexual assault prevention program.

More on the Chef:

Chef Lamar Moore was born and raised in Chicago. He began showing his love for culinary arts at the age of 8. Growing up in a large family and cooking at his grandmother’s side, Chef Lamar learned the importance of cooking with love, taking care of people, and giving back to those less fortunate. He continues to cook from the soul, and has maintained a progressive culinary career with more than 15 years of experience, from sports stadiums to restaurants and now hotels. He takes pride in the relationships he has developed over the years and always does business with local farmers who produce the freshest ingredients. As a member of the American Culinary Federation, Chef Lamar has connected with other professional Chefs as well as mentored aspiring Chefs. As the Keynote Speaker at the National Restaurant Association Show, Chef Lamar provided over 1000 future Chefs with insight, guidance and direction. Chef Lamar has also been featured in many media outlets including Zagat News Weekly,, Food Network and the Chicago Tribune, just to name a few.

If you are interested in being added to the list of artists invited to these gatherings, please email
If you require a sign interpreter or any other arrangements to fully participate in this program, please contact at least 72 hours in advance of the event.