Carceral Geography at the IGU2016, Beijing

Rethinking Carceral Geography in ‘Harmonised Societies’

The 33rd International Geographical Congress (IGC) of the International Geographical Union (IGU) will be held in Beijing, China, on 21-25
August 2016.

Claudio Minca and Chin-Ee Ong are seeking papers for their session on Rethinking Carceral Geography in ‘Harmonised Societies’ organised under the IGU Political Geography Commission (C.33). Their call is as follows:


In recent years, geographers have contributed to the understanding of spaces of surveillance, violence and control (Moran, 2015; Philo, 2012) and
have located such geographical inquiries in camps (Minca & Ong, 2015; Minca, 2015), prisons (Minca & Ong, 2015) and inmate transportation (Moran, Piacentini, & Pallot, 2012). This session first seeks to rethink the role of carceral geography within the context of discourses endorsing and promoting reconciliation and harmony in society. Specifically, we ask whether carceral spaces and notions and practices of control, discipline and punishment have a place in what may be termed ‘harmonious societies’ historically, at present, and in the future. While the notion of ‘harmonious societies’ may have found currency and usage in discourses articulated by politicians, its tendencies towards non-antagonistic consensus presents critical questions for carceral spatialities. Should a harmonious society preserve and remember its past spaces of discipline and violence? What role do current and future carceral spaces play in a harmonious society (if at all)? Are control, discipline and detention key functions for a harmonious society?

We are therefore interested in papers engagging with the following sub-themes:

· Reconceptualising the ‘carceral’ and the ‘carceral spaces’;

· The biopolitics of detention;

· Spatial technologies of incarceration;

· Geographies of detention, custody and care;

· Control, surveillance and society;

· Prisons, asylums, camps and quasi-carceral spatialities.

· ‘Carceral spaces’ after the prison:

· Post-carceral politics of memory, forgetting and representation;

· Post-carceral geographies of heritage and of tourism;

· The power of place: cultural histories of past spatialities of violence.

Enquiries regarding the session may be directed to Chin-Ee Ong ( or Claudio Minca ( Please submit abstracts of not more than 250 words through the conference website at

The deadline is Monday, 15 February 2016. Please note that: (i) titles should consist of no more than 20 words; (ii) no abbreviations are to be
used in titles; and (iii) please be sure to include no more than 10 key words. We will get in touch regarding acceptance by 16 April 2016.

*Panel Conveners:*

Professor Claudio Minca, Wageningen University, the Netherlands ( and

Dr Chin-Ee Ong, National University of Singapore, Singapore, (