CFP: Place, Memory & Justice: Critical Perspectives on Sites of Conscience – a special issue of ‘Space and Culture’

Sites of Conscience, as a global movement to reclaim and reinterpret places of human suffering and injustice as sites of memory, encourages reflection on how a geographically situated and specific set of past events have broader relevance to contemporary debates about democracy, human rights and social justice (Ševčenko 2010, 2011). Sites of conscience have emerged in response to diverse harms and injustices including institutional abuse, war, disappearance, environmental disaster, genocide, racial apartheid and labour exploitation.

sites of conscience

Parragirls Memory Project memory garden — clay tiles made by former inmates and survivors of the Parramatta Girls Home, Sydney, 2018

This special issue of Space and Culture will bring together scholars, practitioners and activists to engage with sites of conscience who are interested in such sites in terms of social spaces. Editors Justine Lloyd (Sociology, Macquarie University, Australia) & Linda Steele (Law, University of Technology, Australia) are particularly interested in papers which consider how sites of conscience situate history, memory, politics, temporality, law, ethics and justice within a spatial framework.

They welcome abstracts engaging with sites of conscience including in the following contexts:

  • Materiality and sites of conscience.
  • Digital or otherwise spatially dispersed sites of conscience.
  • Relationships between spatialities of sites of conscience and temporality, materiality, and affect.
  • Sites of conscience in neoliberal times – privatisation, monetisation, gentrification, development.
  • Sites of conscience, dark tourism and memorialisation.
  • Cases for new sites of conscience not yet in existence, including in relation to current or emerging injustice and harm.
  • Sites of conscience, colonialism, self-determination and Indigenous people.
  • Sites of conscience and memorialisation in everyday or social spaces.
  • Relationships between place and justice in sites of conscience.
  • Relationships in sites of conscience between human rights, spatiality, materiality and place.
  • Place as archive, evidence or judgment.
  • Sites of conscience and ethical accountability in architecture, urban planning and heritage professions.

As well as engaging with the special issue’s theme all articles must (a) comply with the general submission requirements, (b) address the central concerns of the journal, which is to explore cutting-edge questions of spatiality and materiality by connecting conceptual analysis with empirical work (‘empirical’ being broadly construed), and (c) be of relevance to a wide international and multidisciplinary readership (see the Journal’s aims and scope).

Key dates:

  • 1 September 2019: deadline for abstracts (500 words) and bios (200 words)
  • October 2019: authors notified of outcome of abstracts and some invited to submit full article
  • 1 July 2020: deadline for full articles of 7000 words (including references). Acceptance of an abstract is not a guarantee of publication.

The editors plan to host a workshop in Sydney, Australia related to the theme of the special issue in the first half of 2020. Authors whose abstracts are accepted will be invited to participate in the workshop in order to develop their articles for submission. Funding for travel for accepted authors will not be possible, but we welcome virtual
participation in the workshop.

Sites of conscience practitioners are encouraged to contact the editors if they are interested in submitting a shorter ‘praxis’ piece

CFP: Framing the Penal Colony, 22-23 Nov 2019, Nottingham, UK

Framing the Penal ColonyIMG_6186

22-23 November 2019, Nottingham, UK

Call for Papers

Whether presented as a tabula rasa onto which all the hopes, desires, pathologies and detritus of Empire might be projected, as a brilliant story of nation-state building via a hearty mix of backbreaking labour and genocide, or as an abandoned scarred landscape of failed utopian dreams, the penal colony is a space as much imagined as real. This conference will explore historical and contemporary representations of the penal colony as philosophical concept, political project and geographical imaginary. While direct challenges to existing historiographies are anticipated, the intention is to consider the role of visual culture, maps, photography, cinema, graphic novels/comics, museums in ‘framing’ the penal colony alongside literature, philosophy, politics. If the penal colony is generally considered to belong to the past, its legacy remains in the form of the prison islands and convict labour camps still operative across the globe. What can historical and contemporary representations of the penal colony tell us about its continuing legacy and what opportunities do such representations offer for thinking critically and creatively about our own ‘carceral’ present?

ahrc-2018-portrait-logo-750pxThe organisers welcome proposals for papers or panels. Please send 250-word abstracts and a short bio to by 30 June 2019.

The conference is funded by the AHRC as part of the ‘Postcards from the bagne’ project and will be held at the National Justice Museum in Nottingham, UK