Carceral Geography Conferencing

2016/17 brings new opportunities for discussion and development in carceral geography!

Hoping to continue in the tradition of a strong presence of research in carceral geography at American Association of Geographers (AAG) conferences since Washington DC in 2010, Austin Kocher, Nick Gill and I have just issued a Call for Papers for the AAG in Boston, MA to be held April 5-9 2017:

Global Carceral Geographies

Organizers

Austin Kocher (Ohio State University)

Dominique Moran (University of Birmingham)

Nicholas Gill (University of Exeter)

Confinement is on the move. In recent years, governments around the world have resorted to the spatial power of incarceration in its many architectural, legal, and embodied forms to shutter away an enormous number of lives that are deemed undesirable, undocumented or dangerous. From the U.S.’ enormous federal and state prison system to Libya’s migrant jails at the edges of the E.U., the confinement of bodies has been used as a panacea to complex political and economic crises, often exacerbating the very problems they claim to resolve and creating a global underclass of people confined and/or surveilled by the state and for-profit contractors. We use the term confinement here as an ecumenical concept that aims to bring together the many sites (jails, prisons, detention centers, holding facilities, airplanes, buses, etc.) and practices (arrest, sentencing, solitary confinement, internal uprisings and resistance, abuse, deportation, parole) that shed light on the management of bodies.

Geographers have played a critical role in research on confinement, including the political economy of prisons (Bonds, 2009; Conlon & Hiemstra, 2017; Gilmore, 2007), the proliferation of immigrant detention (Loyd, Mitchelson, & Burridge, 2013; Martin, 2012; Moran, Gill, & Conlon, 2013; Mountz, 2011; Mountz, Coddington, Catania, & Loyd, 2013), affective and embodied life inside detention (Moran et al., 2013; Morin, 2013), historical geographies of confinement (Morin & Moran, 2015), and carceral mobilities (Peters & Turner, in press). A central theme of this work is that confinement is complex and heterogeneous, and it also reproduces power relations that exceed formal spaces of incarceration (Gill, Conlon, Moran, & Burridge, forthcoming). We aim to move this literature forward by challenging the apparent differences between various types of confinement (such as incarceration and immigrant detention), widening our discussion of confinement beyond the U.S. and U.K., and deepening our methodological and theoretical frameworks for analyzing carceral geographies.

To this end, we invite papers on research related to carceral geographies for the AAG 2017. We are especially interested in ongoing and experimental research on new forms of incarceration, detention and resistance, both within and beyond carceral geography, including contributions from cognate disciplines (e.g. criminology, prison sociology and critical legal studies).

Possible themes include:

  • the institutional convergences and divergences of detention and incarceration
  • confinement outside of the Anglophone world
  • uprisings and internal resistance
  • carceral circuitry
  • family and childhood detention
  • confinement in historical perspective
  • carceral mobilities
  • related institutions: courts, police, parole, sheriffs, border patrol
  • neoliberal prison reform
  • identity and social difference
  • LGBTQ+ issues and resistance
  • private for-profit economies
  • emotional and affective experiences of incarceration
  • geographies of cradle-to-prison pipelines
  • prison architecture and design
  • exporting and importing confinement
  • alternatives to confinement
  • theoretical and methodological approaches to carceral geographies

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words to Austin Kocher (kocher.51@osu.edu) by October 1, 2016 to be considered for the paper session. If we receive an excess of excellent proposals, we will consider expanding to more than one paper session.

Once your abstract is approved by the organizers, you will still need to register separately with the AAG website by October 27, 2016.

The 2017 AAG Annual Meeting will be held in Boston from April 5th through 9th. See http://www.aag.org/annualmeeting for more details.

On the UK side of the Atlantic, plans are in process for the first stand-alone conference for Carceral Geography, to be held at the University of Birmingham on 12-13th December 2016. Watch this space for more details and a Call for Papers!

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