University of Mississippi

Patrick Alexander

Dr. Patrick Elliot Alexander is Assistant Professor of English and African American Studies and co-founder of the University of Mississippi Prison-to-College Pipeline Program. Dr. Alexander holds a Ph.D. in English from Duke University. A specialist in African American literature, 19th-century American literature, and critical prison studies, he has published reviews in American Literature and Obsidian, and has authored articles on teaching African American literature in college-in-prison programs that are published or forthcoming in south: a scholarly journal, The Journal of African American History, and Reflections: A Journal of Writing, Service-Learning, and Community Literacy. Dr. Alexander published his first book, From Slave Ship to Supermax: Mass Incarceration, Prisoner Abuse, and the New Neo-Slave Novel, with Temple University Press.

Before joining the faculty at the University of Mississippi, Dr. Alexander co-founded Stepping Stones, an award-winning academic enrichment program for imprisoned students based in North Carolina. Through Stepping Stones, he designed and taught five college preparatory seminars in African American literature for imprisoned men at Orange Correctional Center in Hillsborough, North Carolina. As a faculty member at the University of Mississippi, Dr. Alexander has co-founded the Prison-to-College Pipeline Program (PTCPP) with Dr. Otis Westbrook Pickett, Assistant Professor of History at Mississippi College. The PTCPP is a university-community engagement initiative that promotes higher education in prison in response to high rates of incarceration, high-cost punishment, recidivism, and the ongoing need for increased access to educational opportunities in the state of Mississippi. The PTCPP, winner of the 2018 Humanities Educator Award from the Mississippi Humanities Council, currently offers on-site, humanities-based, for-credit college courses for imprisoned men at Parchman/Mississippi State Penitentiary and for imprisoned women at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility.


Ph.D., English, Duke University (2012)
B.A., English/Creative Writing, summa cum laude, Miami University (2006)

Teaching and Research Interests:

African American Literature
19th Century American literature
Critical Prison Studies

Selected Publications:

  • From Slave Ship to Supermax: Mass Incarceration, Prisoner Abuse, and the New Neo-Slave Novel. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2018.
  • “Education as Liberation: African American Literature and Abolition Pedagogy in the Sunbelt Prison Classroom.”  south: a scholarly journal (forthcoming).
  • “The Prison-to-College Pipeline Program: An Ethical, Education-Based Response to Mass Incarceration in Mississippi.”  The Journal of African American History (forthcoming). Co-authored with Otis W. Pickett.
  • Review of Jay Garcia, Psychology Comes to Harlem: Rethinking the Race Question in Twentieth-Century America  (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2012) and Eve Dunbar, Black Regions of the Imagination: African American Writers Between the Nation and the World (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2013). American Literature 87 (June 2015): 398-400.
  • “‘To live and remain outside of the barb[ed] wire and fence’: A Prison Classroom, African American Literature, and the Pedagogy of Freedom.” Reflections: A Journal of Public Rhetoric, Civic Writing, and Service Learning 11.1 (2011): 88-108.
  • Review of Caleb Smith, Prison and the American Imagination (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009) and Regina Kunzel, Criminal Intimacy: Prison and the Uneven History of Modern American Sexuality (Chicago: University of Chicago, 2008). American Literature 83 (September 2011): 673-675.
  • Review of Jennifer Griffiths, Traumatic Possessions: The Body and Memory in African American Women’s Writing and Performance (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009). Obsidian 11 (Fall 2010): 153-156.


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