Carceral Geography at the AAG 2013

Thanks to a wonderful response to the Call for Papers, Shaul Cohen and I have been able to organise a number of sessions on Carceral Geography for the AAG 2013 in Los Angeles this April.

 The so-called ‘punitive turn’ has brought new ways of thinking about geography and the state, and has highlighted spaces of incarceration as a new terrain for exploration by geographers. Geographical engagements with incarceration have put these spaces, and experiences within them, firmly on the disciplinary map. Human geography, and specifically the evolving sub-discipline of carceral geography, have much to offer to the study of incarceration, and taking the carceral as a locus of research offers useful opportunities both to invigorate ongoing developments within human geography, and to contribute to positive social change.

Carceral geography is a new but a fast-moving and fast-developing sub-discipline, and is proving an increasingly vibrant field. These sessions provide a space for discussion of recent scholarship, situating it in the context both of contemporary human geography and of the interdisciplinary literature from criminology and prison sociology upon which it draws, and to also explore a range of potential avenues of future research which are open to transdisciplinarity, which are both informed by and extend theoretical developments in geography, but which also, and critically, interface with contemporary debates over hyperincarceration and the punitive state.

There will be four sessions in all, sponsored by the Cultural Geography Specialty Group of the AAG – three paper sessions and a roundtable session for a forthcoming book: Details are:

Carceral Geography: Debates, Developments and Directions I

Carceral Geography: Debates, Developments and Directions II

Carceral Geography: Debates, Developments and Directions III ‘Carceral Spaces: Mobility and Agency in Imprisonment and Migrant Detention’

This session coalesces around a new edited book which defines a new field in geographical research, drawing together the work of a new community of scholars and a growing body of work in carceral geography – the geographical engagement with the practices of imprisonment and migrant detention. Increasingly, these spheres overlap. Just as ‘mainstream’ prison populations have expanded over the past twenty-five years, there has also been a veritable explosion in the use of detention for irregular migrants. Migrants are increasingly scrutinized as criminals, so much so that scholars and activists now refer to this nexus as ‘crimmigration’. This book brings together scholars whose work engages practices of imprisonment and/or migrant detention with the goal of opening up a forum within geography and related interdisciplinary fields of study (critical prison studies, criminology, etc.) for conversation / dialogue across these ever more intertwined spheres.

Organisers and Panelists: Dominique Moran, Nick Gill, Deirdre Conlon, Lauren Martin, Kelsey Nowakowski, Mason McWatters, Julie de Dardel

Carceral Geography: Debates, Developments and Directions IV

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