Annotated Bibliography-ES

Fire Service and Prison Fire Camps- History

Alexander, Michelle. 2010. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New York: New Press.

  • Alexander traces how the modern day prison system is rooted in slavery. They show how racialized communities end up in prison in part to exploit their labor. I will use this as one foundation for thinking of the relationship between imprisoned people and the labor they perform while incarcerated.

Chetkovich, Carol. 1997. Real Heat: Gender and Race in the Urban Fire Service. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press.

  • Chetkovich examines racial and gendered dimensions of being urban employment within Oakland during affirmative action efforts in 1990. Essentially, within fire department culture, women are discouraged from being employed while Black men are valorized for their masculinity. I think this might serve well for comparing the racial and gendered dimensions of being in the fire service, but I don’t think it serves too great of an analysis outside of the scope of its research study for mine.

Lynch, Mona. 2010. Sunbelt Justice: Arizona and the Transformation of American Punishment. Stanford, California: Stanford Law Books

  • Lunch examines how national trends of incarceration are instituted within the policies of Arizona’s government. I thought this would be useful for understanding fire prison camps, but I’m looking for a book on california’s penal system, not Arizona.

McAfee, Ward. 1990. “A History of Convict Labor in California.” Southern California Quarterly 72:19-40. (Links to an external site.)

  • McAfee examines the history of how California prison systems used convict. My goal is to situate how Prison Fire camps came to be through a convict leasing system.

Volker Janssen. When the “Jungle” Met the Forest: Public Work, Civil Defense, and Prison Camps in Postwar California. The Journal of American history (Bloomington, Ind). 2009;96(3):702-726. doi:10.1093/jahist/96.3.702

  • Volker situates the development of prison fire camps during the WWII. During this period, prisons were turned into factories, one product of which was fire suppression through prisoner labor via the Civilian Conservation Corps and the California’s State Relief Agency. Here, California’s forest camps stand at the nexus of citizen and convict. The use of this paper is to situate the rise of fire labor camps as viable options for labor.

Prison Fire Camps- Major Contributors

Goodman, Philip. 2012. “Another Second Chance: Rethinking Rehabilitation through the Lens of California’s Prison Fire Camps.” Social Problems (Berkeley, Calif.) 59 (4): 437–58.

  • Goodman engages rehabilitation for prisoners from the lens of prison fire camps. A part of Goodman’s analysis is the bureaucratic mechanisms of prison fire camps. Rather than use his article from the lens of rehabilitation, I want to use this article to stituate conversations about prison fire camps.


  • Goodman examines the contradictory perspectives about people who work prison fire camps. While some view them are hero’s for stopping fire, they are also unable to escape the category of inmate. The goal of using this article is to situate perceptions of prison fire camps and how they perpetuate a narrative that people are grateful for their labor, but that they should not be compensated because they are prisoners.

Polick-Kirkpatrick, Kaelyn Frances. 2019. “Prisons in the Wildlands: A Critical Look Into the Historical Development and Implications of California Conservation Camps” (Links to an external site.). University of Oregon: 29. Archived from the original (Links to an external site.) (PDF) on March 29, 2020.

  • Polick-Kirkpatrick traces the development of California Conservation Camps, of which is implicated prison fire camps. The goal of using this article is to situate the historical development of prison fire camps.

Fire- History & Humanities

Carle, David. 2002. Burning Questions : America’s Fight with Nature’s Fire Westport, Conn. ;: Praeger.

  • Introduction: America’s Hundred Years War on Wildfire — Pt. I. Questioning the Dogma of War. 1. “Professional” Versus “IndianForestry”; 8. Burning California State Parks. 9. National Fire Management ; 13. Peaceful Coexistence.

Pyne, Stephen J. 2015. Between Two Fires: A Fire History of Contemporary AmericaBetween Two Fires. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.

  • Pyne traces the United States’ fire history. This will be useful to situate how fires came to be conceptualized in the united states, what services where used to adjust to the fires, and what this means for policy.

Indigenous People- with Fire and Land

Anderson, M. Kat. 2006. Tending the Wild : Native American Knowledge and the Management of California’s Natural Resources Berkeley, CA: University of California Press,.

  • Anderson writes a how Native American people managed with land in California, of which includes fire burning. The goal is to examine how native knowledge was discounted in order to claim ownership of land.

Lewis, Henry T., and Lowell John Bean. 1973. Patterns of Indian Burning in California: Ecology and Ethnohistory. Ramona, Calif: Ballena Press.

  • Lewis and Lowell write a classic text on how Native American people engaged with land via fire burning. The goal is to examine how native knowledge was discounted in order to claim ownership of land.

Indigenous People- Frames

Mihesuah, Devon A. Natives and Academics: Researching and Writing About American Indians. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998.

  • Mihesuah writes about how to write about Native people in historically specific and accurate ways. The goal is to accurately create Native people as a subject within the research study.

Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. Decolonizing Methodologies : Research and Indigenous Peoples. London, New York, Dunedin: New York: Zed Books. University of Otago Press; distributed in the USA exclusively by St Martin’s Press, 1999.

  • Smith creates a methodology in which academic knowledge production can become a decolonizing practice that thinks from the perspective of Native nations instead of colonizers, settlers, or empires. The goal of engaging this text is to situate the land called California as indigenous land so as to avoid the pitfalls of a nation making project and decolonize conceptions of fire and land with native people at the forefront.

Vizenor, Gerald Robert. Fugitive Poses : Native American Indian Scenes of Absence and Presence. The Abraham Lincoln Lecture Series. Lincoln, Neb.: University of Nebraska Press, 1998, 178.

  • Vizenor writes about the selective presence and absence of Native American Indians. How they are consciously selected to be visible when needed but are erased when the engage ideas of sovereignty and decolonization. My goal is to make native people’s presence strong when discussing their land so as to not engage modern problems with destructive fire as a product of colonial relations.