The Evolution of Prisons and Penality in the Former Soviet Union – special issue now online

Issue 19 of The Journal of Power Institutions in Post-Soviet Societies, edited by Gavin Slade, Anne Le Huérou, Elisabeth Sieca-Kozlowski and entitled “The Evolution of Prisons and Penality in the Former Soviet Union” is now online. 

This superb collection covers a staggering range of topics, from films of Soviet penal spaces, to medical professionals in modern Russian prisons, comprises resources in English and French, and includes English language reviews of topical books published in French and Russian, and interviews with key figures. The full edition is available here – links to individual papers/reviews are below.

Photo Credit: Belovodsk Colony no. 16, Kyrgyzstan (April 2015), ©Gavin Slade

Gavin Slade
Unpacking Prison Reform in the Former Soviet Union

The Visual History of Imprisonment – Article (1)
Irina Tcherneva
For an Exploration of Visual Resources of the History of Imprisonment 
Photo and Film in Penal Spaces in the USSR (1940–1970)
The Evolution of Prisons and Penality in the Former Soviet Union – Articles (2)
The Evolution of Prisons and Penality in the Former Soviet Union – Student Research Note (1)
The Evolution of Prisons and Penality in the Former Soviet Union – Conversation (1 – ru & fr)
The Evolution of Prisons and Penality in the Former Soviet Union – Bibliography
Elisabeth Sieca-Kozlowski
The Evolution of Prisons and Penality in the Former Soviet Union – A Suggested Bibliography

The Evolution of Prisons and Penality in the Former Soviet Union – Book Reviews (4)
Alan Barenberg
Luba Jurgenson et Nicolas Werth, Le Goulag : Témoignages et archives
Éditions Robert Laffont, S.A.S., Paris, 2017, 1120 pages

Gwénola Ricordeau
Judith Pallot and Elena Katz, Waiting at the Prison Gate: Women, Identity and the Russian Penal System
London: I.B. Tauris, 2017, 352 pages

Malika Talgatova
Anna Karetnikova, Marshrut. Obshchestvennyi kontrol’ za mestami lisheniya svobodi – vosem’let bez prava ostanovki
Moscow: Pravozashchitnii Tsentr, 2017, 268 pages

Gavin Slade
Mark Galeotti, The Vory: Russia’s Super-Mafia 
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018, 344 pages

Book Reviews – General (6)
Stanislav Lvovsky
Zakhar Prilepin, Vzvod. Ofitsery i opolchentsy russkoi literatury
Moskva: AST, 2017, 736 pages

Lina Tsrimova
Rebecca Gould, Writers and Rebels: The Literature of Insurgency in the Caucasus 
Yale University Press, 2016, 352 pages

Elie Tenenbaum
Masha Cerovic, Les Enfants de Staline. La guerre des partisans soviétiques, 1941-1944 
Paris, Éditions du Seuil, 2018, 384 pages

Uri Bar-Noi
Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez, The Soviet-Israeli War, 1967-1973: The USSR’s Military Intervention in the Egyptian-Israeli Conflict
London: Hurst & Company, 2017, 400 pages

Matthew Light
Erica Marat, The Politics of Police Reform: Society against the State in Post-Soviet Countries
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018, 249 pages

Karine Clément
Anna Sanina, Patriotic Education in Contemporary Russia. Sociological Studies in the Making of the Post-Soviet Citizen 
Stuttgart: Ibidem Verlag, 2017, 188 pages

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Standard European Fellowships in Carceral Geography at the University of Birmingham

Have you completed your PhD on a topic related to carceral geography? Would you like to spend 1-2 years at the University of Birmingham working on your next research project?

Image result for university of birmingham

Expressions of interest are invited from outstanding post-doctoral candidates eligible to apply for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual European Fellowship at a UK host institution.  Although the Carceral Geography Lab at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham is looking to support applications in any area of carceral geography, there is a particular interest in the following topics:

Qualified candidates can apply for a Fellowship, provided they have not lived or worked in the UK for more than twelve months in the three years immediately prior to the application deadline of 11th September 2019.  For more information, see

If you would be interested in working with us for 1-2 years on a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship, please email an expression of interest (EoI) to Prof. Dominique Moran at by Monday 22nd July. Please include:

  • a CV with details of your academic and other relevant accomplishments
  • a 1-2 page draft research proposal
  • a supporting letter explaining research synergies with carceral geography and what makes you a potentially outstanding candidate for a Fellowship

Successful candidate(s) at the EoI stage will be supported in developing the full proposal and application for final submission on 11th September 2019.

“Interface to Place” Conference and Summer School – QU Belfast, 12-16 Aug 2019

Neil Galway and Giulia Carabelli extend an invitation to a free conference + summer school that might be of interest to carceral geographers – “Interface to Place: Remaking divisive lines into shared spaces” organised in collaboration with Queen’s University Belfast and the Department of Justice – Interfaces Team.

The conference, on 12 August 2019, brings together international scholars, practitioners and decision-makers to discuss how to engage with history and heritage to imagine urban futures; how post-conflict and peace processes can be supported by inclusive approaches to planning and urban stewardship; and how we can ensure that the knowledge produced by academics, practitioners and citizens can be shared to shape the future of our cities. The conference will also serve as a platform to reflect more closely on how understandings of cities as shared spaces could inform the process of removing all interface barriers in Belfast by 2023. We will ask how interface areas could become shared spaces and how these might look like (the programme of the conference will be available shortly).

Confirmed speakers include:

The Summer School starts on 13 August until 16 August 2019. Led by local and international urban scholars and practitioners, participants to the Summer School will have the opportunity to work on concrete plans to transform interface areas in Belfast and get feedback from local stakeholders.

The conference and summer school are free! There is a small number of bursaries available that cover the cost of accommodation on campus for summer school participants. To be considered for one of these bursaries, applicants should provide a 2 page CV and 500 word statement of motivation to by 19th July 2019. These scholarships are available because of generous sponsorship from Department of Justice – Interfaces team and the QUB Culture and Society research cluster.

To sign up for any of these events, click here

Carceral Ecologies: 11-12 July, Nottingham UK

Is it possible to imagine a world without prisons? How would this world look? What leaps of the imagination might be required to overcome incarceration? By reading and discussing texts, images and film that shapes and contests dominant perceptions around the longevity of prison, this two-day workshop will consider the difficult long-term labour of dismantling existing carceral systems.

This workshop is also exploring the links between the world’s prison systems, racist and colonial structures. Prisons continue to perpetuate social inequality, and there is a danger that this will only intensify in the context of increased forced migration and reduced resources resulting from climate disaster.

Attendance is free. Please register to attend and to receive advance reading materials.

This event is supported as part of the AHRC-funded research project Postcards from the bagne, led by Sophie Fuggle at Nottingham Trent University.

Programme 11 July 2019

11.00am Registration with coffee

11.30-12.30 Session 1 – Imagining a world with prison. Led by Ayshka Sené, Nottingham Trent University

Selected reading: Ursula Le Guin’s The Dispossessed (Chapter 2)

12.30-1.30 Lunch (provided)

1.30-2.45 Session 2 – Nature writing. Led by Andrea Beckmann, Critical criminologist and social pedagogue

Selected reading: Henry Thoreau’s Walden; or life in the woods (extract tbc)

2.45-3.00 Break

3.00-4.00 Guest Talk. In conversation with a former resident of HMP Grendon.

Programme 12th July 2019

11.00am Welcome with Coffee

11.15am Session 3 – Against mass incarceration. Led by John Moore, Newham University

Selected reading: Ruth Wilson Gilmore’s Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California (Chapter 4)

12.30 Lunch (provided)

1.30-2.45 Session 4 – Ecology and the colonial project. Led by Sophie Fuggle, Nottingham Trent University

Selected reading: Kathryn Yusoff’s A Billion Black Anthropocene’s or none (Chapter ‘The Inhumanities’)

2.45-3.00 Break

3.00-4.00 Guest Talk. Blue Bag Life (Lisa Selby and Elliot Murawski)

The Instagram account ‘bluebaglife’, gives insight into Lisa Selby and Elliot Murawski’s relationship, with their combined first hand experiences of prison, mental health and class A drug addiction. It highlights issues that are often misrepresented, if they are spoken about at all. Bluebaglife offers the perspectives of those held inside institutions, or are hiding away due to shame and stigma, as well as loved ones supporting them. Strong and motivated support networks are developing across a range of platforms, in the hope of awareness and social change.

Image credit: Claire Reddleman, Bars and Moss, 2018. Courtesy the artist

Nottingham Contemporary’s public programme is jointly funded by Nottingham Trent University and The University of Nottingham.

This event is at Nottingham Contemporary

Weekday Cross

0115 948 9750