Call for Papers: RGS-IBG 2014 Mapping carceral geography – confinement, closed spaces and affective atmospheres

Call for Papers: RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, London, August 2014

Mapping carceral geography – confinement, closed spaces and affective atmospheres

Organizers: Anna Schliehe (University of Glasgow) and Dominique Moran (University of Birmingham)

Spaces of confinement can be found in various settings and institutions, from psychiatric establishments, centres for migrant detention, to prisons and penitentiary camps. Carceral geography has continued to expand its scope, taking a range of different perspectives on custodial spaces. This session seeks to conceptualise and collect these perspectives on closed spaces to think through theoretical and empirical aspects of carceral spheres, and toexplore in particular the interactions between borders, the materiality of confinement, and the individual. We are looking to explore innovative methods of engaging with those in confinement and to closely consider positionalities of the researcher in these settings.

This perspective includes aspects of spatial and social tactics, embodied and emotional experiences of living in closed spaces, and effects on inmates, visitors, staff and researchers. Theoretical insights into the constitution of confinement often draw upon the work of Foucault, de Certeau, Agamben or Goffman. We are interested in the utilization of these abstractions, but also in work which draws from different theoretical constructs.

In attempting to reflect on ‘geographies of co-production’ and more collaborative ways of working we very much welcome inputs from cognate disciplines on aspects of space and confinement, as well as from beyond the academy.

Suggested topics within this theme of carceral geography could include (but are not limited to) the following:

–         Spatiality of places of confinement at various scales

–         Individual institutions; their design, lived experience and future perspectives

–         Aspects of time and space relations

–         Individual experiences of entering and leaving closed spaces

–         Spatial tactics and governmental strategies

–         Aspects of care and control including health and well-being

–         Marginalised groups in confinement e.g. in relation to age, gender, disability, sexual orientation

–         The position of the researcher

–         Entangled encounters of inside and outside

–         Agency and mobility

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to Anna Schliehe ( and Dominique Moran ( by February 10th 2014.