Elías Beltrán ’17 Becomes First Bard Prison Initiative Alumnus to Join Its Faculty

BPI alumnus and faculty member Elías Beltrán ’17. 

Elías Beltrán ’17, Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) alumnus, is completing his PhD in comparative literature at Cornell University and is the first BPI alumnus to join the BPI faculty beginning in fall 2023. Beltrán, who has taught at Cornell and worked at the Bard Microcollege at Brooklyn Public Library in its early years, talks with Megan Callaghan, dean of BPI, about becoming a faculty member, his experiences in teaching, and the importance of accessible and unconventional liberal arts education models like BPI, Bard Microcolleges, and Bard Early Colleges. 

“None of the distinctions of prison-yard politics—race, cliques, neighborhoods, age, orientation—mattered in the classroom,” he recalls about his time as a BPI student. “The issues that obscured the commonality of our plight, the immediacy of our predicament, all became clear to us on the page. That was our point of focus, and everything else gave way to that. I saw something very similar at work in the Microcollege, and I was so heartened to see students of all ages and backgrounds sharing that space too.”
 
Beltrán, whose research focuses on postcolonial and decolonial trauma, as well as the history and culture of the Caribbean and its literature, is excited to start teaching at BPI. His message to new BPI students: “Commit. Commit to your education. Be committed like nothing else to it and value the time you have for it. Another thing is to not be afraid to ask questions, to acknowledge the gaps in your knowledge and then work at filling those gaps, including asking for additional readings and material. Last thing is to believe in yourself unflinchingly.”

Post Date: 08-29-2023

Logo-favicon

Sign up to receive the latest local, national & international Criminal Justice News in your inbox, everyday.

We don’t spam! Read our [link]privacy policy[/link] for more info.

Sign up today to receive the latest local, national & international Criminal Justice News in your inbox, everyday.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

This post was originally published on this site