Kurtis Tanaka, PhD, is program manager for justice initiatives at Ithaka S+R, where he has led numerous projects on increasing access to and the quality of higher education opportunities in US prisons. His work is broadly framed around the question of how people access information, through this lens exploring the role of technology in higher education in prisons and the impact of Departments of Corrections’ media review policies, censorship, self-censorship, and digital surveillance on educational quality. Beyond higher education in prisons, Kurtis works with academic libraries, publishers, and museums to help them better serve their users and communities.
Kurtis holds a bachelor’s degree in classical languages from the University of California, Berkeley and a doctorate in the art and archaeology of the Mediterranean world from the University of Pennsylvania. As an archaeologist, Kurtis has worked extensively on excavations in Greece and Turkey, including Mycenae, Nemea, Corinth, and Gordion. Building on this experience, his dissertation explored processes of cultural and technological change in Greece and Turkey during the eight to sixth to centuries BCE.