Carceral Geography Working Group AGM

*With apologies for cross-posting*

Dear colleagues,

As noted on the AGM page for the RGS-IBG, the Annual General Meeting of the Carceral Geography Working Group (CGWG) of the RGS-IBG will take place online on Monday 6 September, 11:30 – 13:00 UK time (GMT+1).

All welcome. As well as the formal business of running the working group, it’s a great opportunity for us to meet and hear from the wide range of researchers who are linked to our network. We are particularly keen to discuss the upcoming schedule of CGWG events and plans to develop our ECR programme.

If you wish to send agenda items for discussion, please email our secretary Lauren Martin ( by Friday 27th August. This is especially encouraged for any members where the time-zone does not allow attendance – we will happily provide feedback on the discussion around your point of interest.

This meeting will be held over Zoom. Register for the Zoom session via Eventbrite.

All the best,

Jennifer Turner (Chair, CGWG)

Lauren Martin (Secretary, CGWG)

Anna Schliehe (Treasurer, CGWG)

New Prize for Best Postgraduate ‘Paper’ in Carceral Geography

The Carceral Geography Working Group are pleased to announce a new prize to recognise postgraduate research. For the first time since its establishment, the CGWG are in a position to be able to offer a prize for the Best Postgraduate ‘Paper’.

A £50 prize will be awarded for postgraduate research. The prize-winner will also be offered one-day registration for the Annual International Conference of the RGS-IBG and invited to feature their writing on the Carceral Geography website.

The prize will be awarded for the best research ‘paper’, which could be derived from a Masters thesis, PhD chapter, or a conference paper script. No more than 5000 words should be submitted. Where students submit a script for a conference paper, a copy of any accompanying slides should also be submitted. Papers should include a full set of references and figures (as relevant).

The prize is open to both current and former postgraduate students at both Masters and PhD level. In order to be eligible for the prize, former postgraduate students must have submitted a Masters or doctoral dissertation no earlier than 12 months before the prize deadline. Where any applicant wishes to submit a conference script for consideration, the conference paper should have been delivered no earlier than 12 months before the prize deadline.

Applications from outside the UK are welcomed but the paper should be written in (or translated professionally in) to English. Students need not necessarily be aligned to a geography(-related) discipline but their work should engage with issues of carcerality and/or themes emergent in carceral geographies.

Papers should be submitted by the student in pdf format with an appropriate research supervisor copied into the email.

For any further details or questions please contact Dr Lauren Martin using the details below. 

Submissions to: Dr Lauren Martin (

Deadline: 1 November 2021

Call for events and activities organisers

The Carceral Geography Working Group (CGWG) of the RGS-IBG invites Expressions of Interest from potential organisers for mid-term activities in 2021-2022.

Following the success of the 4th International Conference for Carceral Geography, delegates expressed willingness to both organise and engage with events outside of the traditional conference format. The global pandemic has witnessed the emergence of virtual networking activities and there is certainly scope to develop networking activities along these lines. In addition, since the International Conference will retain its now biennial format, there is now scope in the research calendar for other events that will be of interest to members of our networks. Suggested formats included one-day workshops related to a particular method and/or theme; dedicated networking events; publishing advice and guidance sessions; one-off seminars or a series of short linked events. The possibilities are more numerous than listed here and we look forward to supporting as many of these activities as we can!

Accordingly, the committee invite Expressions of Interest to host one of these such events. Hosts may determine their own event theme(s) and format. Although we would anticipate the primary organisational activities being undertaken by the event organisers, these organisers can expect to be supported by the CGWG committee or members of the CGWG Advisory Board, e.g. in the form of developing ideas, making formal invitations, hosting material on the carceral geography website, chairing sessions, etc, if required.

Expressions of Interest should be sent to Jennifer Turner, Chair of the CGWG, at by 30 April 2021. The committee will then liaise with organisers on a case-by-case basis to develop an event programme. If numerous proposals are received that result in conflicting activities/schedules, the committee may suggest collaboration between individual proposals to combine events.

More details and a proposal template can be found here. Please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer via the means above to ask questions or discuss initial ideas.

Recordings from the 4th International Conference for Carceral Geography now online!

We are delighted to announce that the video recordings from the 4th International Conference for Carceral Geography now available online! If you missed any of the sessions and/or you’d like to revisit any of the excellent conference presentations, please visit the 2020 Conference Programme on our website and click on individual session links to access the recordings.

Congratulations to the organisers on a wonderful conference and for the careful producing of it, which has facilitated this excellent resource.

Happy (re)viewing!

Call for conference organisers for the 5th International Conference for Carceral Geography

The Carceral Geography Working Group (CGWG) of the RGS-IBG invites Expressions of Interest from potential organising committees for the 5th International Conference for Carceral Geography.

The committee of the CGWG invite Expressions of Interest from colleagues within the network to host the 5th International Conference for Carceral Geography in 2022. Whilst the conference should reflect the research focus of the CGWG, hosts may determine their own conference theme and have flexibility in the format of the conference proceedings. Host can expect to be supported by the CGWG committee or members of the CGWG Advisory Board, if required.

Expressions of Interest should, in the first instance, be sent to Jennifer Turner, Chair of the CGWG, at by 30 April 2021. A selection of potential organising committees would then be invited to complete a Full Proposal by the deadline of 31 July 2021.

The deadline is pre-emptive of both the organising time required for an international conference and the deadline for relevant RGS grant applications to provide financial support for the conference.

More details and proposal templates can be found here. Please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer via the means above to ask questions or discuss initial ideas.

CFC: (In)Secure Worlds: Scales, Systems and Spaces of Carcerality

Hanneke Stuit, Jennifer Turner and Julienne Weegels have been invited by Duke University Press to submit a proposal for an edited collection on carcerality in a globalized world for their Global Insecurities book series.

If you are interested in contributing to this interdisciplinary collection, please submit an abstract of 250-300 words, a proposed chapter title and a short bio of 80 words by 30 November 2020. The envisioned chapters are approximately 6000-8000 words. Please make sure your proposed work fits the rationale of the collection.

Scales, Systems and Spaces of Carcerality

Carceral systems have expanded over the past decades as strategies accompanying the many ‘wars on’ crime, drugs, poverty, and terrorism. These systems serve to securitize, isolate, manage and police specific groups of criminalized others. In effect, the carceral has become such an inextricable aspect of current security paradigms that scientists speak of a carceral age and carceral states (Moran et al. 2018, Garland 2013, Wacquant 2000). Carceral forms, then, do not just influence those who come into daily contact with the prison.

Following Moran et al. (2018) and their conceptualization of carceral conditions, spaces that exist as performances and practices of carcerality exist in various guises and on various scales around the globe. Such spaces are both manifestations of top-down practices of securitization (such as the implementation and persistence of the immigration detention center or the control of territories through the hardening and deepening of border technologies) and emergent from or attributed to the micro-scale level of the body of the individual (such as the relationship between the home as a carceral space for domestic abuse sufferers or the disproportionate treatment of people of color on the job market).

Such manifestations are enacted through government legislation and infrastructures of sanction and control, but carcerality also ‘seeps’ into everyday spheres in different ways. Popular culture abounds with representations of the prison, for instance, and ecological concerns are making it increasingly difficult to think of an abstract “outside” to human experiences from which one can escape. Whether in material, spatial, discursive and imaginary guises, experiences and feelings of confinement are becoming increasingly commonplace, although they do so in unequally gendered and racialized ways (Alexander 2012, Browne 2015). Accordingly, then, we are living in what might be considered a ‘carceral world’, where practices, performances, spatialities, imaginaries, and experiences of carcerality are widespread and exist in a variety of scales.

This edited collection seeks to explore the complex workings of global immobilization and securitization in a number of different ways. What makes a carceral space? How might experiences and imaginations of carceral spaces be contingent upon both people and place? And, how has carcerality come to emerge as a central construction of life in our globalized world? In what ways do technologies of incarceration and securitization, legal and regulative apparatus, and economic systems impact who and what is imbricated in experiences and imaginations of carcerality? How do these practices manifest in various geographical locations and at different scales? What are the likely ongoing impacts of living in a carceral world? Ultimately, what systems of power shape notions of carcerality and what does this mean for better understanding methods of incarceration, as well as the wider politics of spaces that might be considered carceral? These are the questions central to this timely edited collection, (In)Secure Worlds: Scales, Systems and Spaces of Carcerality.

Accordingly, chapters are sought that serve to:

  • Deploy carcerality to make visible the intersections between prison conditions, colonialism and the capitalist system. Where concepts like surveillance, security and (im)mobility crucially focus on strategies and technologies of what Bigo calls professional population management (2008), the concept of carcerality helps to account for the historical and social constructions of extraction that drive connections between prisons, colonialism and the capitalist system (Fludernik 2019). In doing so carcerality explicates and makes visible the constructed nature of punishment and punitive desires in contemporary entanglements of security and capitalist labor. Under what conditions has carcerality developed and what systems continue to perpetuate its existence? How may understanding the intersections between carcerality and other world systems serve to disrupt these relationships?
  • Focus attention on the role of carcerality in spatial organization. As Moran et al. (2018) have noted, Foucault thinks the carceral as reverberating rings that disseminate discipline and self-surveillance throughout society. However, the prototypical carceral institutions he mentions, like orphanages, reformatories, disciplinary battalions, alms houses, workhouses, and factory-convents have largely waned or changed. What, then, are the carceral institutions and spaces in our current epoch and how does an analysis of those spaces help us to better understand carcerality now?
  • Open up analysis of specific conditions, experiences and imaginaries of incarceration. The word carceral, as denoting what pertains to the prison and to what is prison-like, allows for an analysis of how carceral conditions are repeated and recreated in spaces outside the prison. Although an overreliance on metaphors of carcerality risks glossing the experiences of imprisoned people, the concept also has the power to address the relays and slippages that occur in the feedback loops between on-site prison experiences and broader and more global carceral processes, like prison imaginaries in popular culture, the design of prison cells, and the globalization of prison governance regimes. Frequently, these processes rely on gendered, classed, and racialized experiences and ideas. The collection encourages contributions that allow for a better understanding of the prison itself as well as its broader influence in contemporary societies. How do particular experiences and ideas of gender, class and race shape and how are they shaped by the politics and aesthetics of incarceration?
  • Conceptualise carcerality in ways that facilitate analysis of structures of feeling associated with incarceration. The carceral’s ability to metaphorically (re)cast issues and ideas in terms of the prison highlights structures of feeling (Williams 1975) about the carceral that circulate socially (Fludernik 2005; Ahmed 2004). This begs the question why carceral metaphors pop up as frequently as they do outside the prison, what they are used for exactly and to what emotional and political effects? How is or can carcerality be embodied and performed? When is an experience carceral, and what does such a denotation help us see about the structures and experiences of present day precarity?

Contributions are not limited by discipline or geographical focus. Proposals from scholars from all career stages are encouraged. Proposals from non-Anglophone contexts are welcomed and editorial support will be given.

The following timescale for the volume is anticipated. Please note this in submitting your abstract for consideration:

– First submission of chapters to the editors required by 30thJune 2021.

– Final submission of revised chapters to the editors by 31st December 2021.

If you have any further questions, please contact the editors by email at:

Carceral Geography Working Group AGM

*With apologies for cross-posting*

Dear colleagues,

As noted on the AGM page for the RGS-IBG, the Annual General Meeting of the Carceral Geography Working Group (CGWG) of the RGS-IBG will take place online on Thursday 27th August 2020, 13:00-15:00 UK time (GMT+1). All are welcome. If you wish to send agenda items for discussion, please email our secretary Jennifer Turner ( by Thursday 20th August at noon. This meeting will be held over Zoom. Register for the Zoom session via Eventbrite.

The Carceral Geography Working Group is also looking for new committee members to fill the following positions:

  • Chair (3 year term)
  • Secretary (3 year term)
  • Postgraduate Representative (2 positions) (1 year term)

Candidates for these positions must be a Fellow or Postgraduate Fellow of the RGS-IBG.

* Chair is responsible for:

  • Chairing the AGM and working with the Research Group Secretary to produce meeting agendas, agree minutes, and communicate effectively with the RGS-IBG, CGWG committee, and membership; contributing to the Annual Report and other central RGS-IBG processes as required; a central point of contact for CGWG committee members and assisting relevant personnel with initiatives, events and activities as needed; attending Research Group Committee meetings and other associated events at the RGS-IBG offices (2-3 times per year); having (light touch) oversight of the Research Group’s activities

*Secretary is responsible for:

  • The coordination of the research group’s administration; preparation of agendas and notices; ensuring meetings are effectively organised and minuted; maintaining effective records; overseeing the membership of the group; communication and correspondence with the membership

* Postgraduate Representatives are responsible for:

  • promoting postgraduate interests and needs to the wider Research Group; occasional conference, seminar and session organisation for post-graduates (with rest of group) and maintaining connection with wider postgraduate community through the Postgraduate Forum.

Nominations for these committee roles are now open.  Nominations must be in writing to the Chair (Professor Dominique Moran – ) and Secretary (Dr Jennifer Turner – with the name of two nominators (these need not be Fellows of the RGS-IBG or existing committee members). Nominations are accepted until Thursday 20th August. If more than one person is nominated, a vote will be held during the business of the AGM. Candidates will ideally need to be based in the UK to attend meetings and make a commitment to fulfilling their elected post.

If you have any questions about what the roles involve, or anything else at all, don’t hesitate to get in contact.

All the best,

Dominique Moran (Chair, CGWG)

Jennifer Turner (Secretary, CGWG)

Anna Schliehe (Treasurer, CGWG)



Programme announced – 3rd International Conference for Carceral Geography

The programme for the 3rd International Conference for Carceral Geography, to be held at the University Liverpool, 17-18 December 2018, has been finalised, and is available here.


Registration for the conference is open via this online shop. Registration is free, and there are payable items of day catering and a conference dinner which can be optionally added. The last date for conference registration is 7th December 2018.


The conference theme of “counterpoints and counter-intuition” is intended encourage both a diversity of perspectives on the carceral, and to stimulate discussion of that which is or was unanticipated, had been unimagined, or was unforeseen.


We are delighted that Professor Dominique Moran (University of Birmingham) and Professor Chris Philo (University of Glasgow) will be joining us as keynote speakers at the conference. The conference will feature 8 paper sessions, with 29 papers from 39 authors from across the globe. Delegates are invited to a drinks reception and exhibition event including the photographic work of Dr Annie Pfingst (Goldsmiths, University of London), The Comparative Penology Group (University of Cambridge) and a musical performance from Lucy Cathcart Frödén (University of Glasgow and Vox Liminis).

Dedicated theme sessions include: Carceral legitimacy; Mobilities and Change; Health, Body and Mind; Carceral Landscapes; amongst others.

To join us in Liverpool for the conference, register now!

Registration open for the 3rd International Conference for Carceral Geography

Carceral Geography3rd International Conference for Carceral Geography, University of Liverpool, UK

17-18th December 2018


We invite delegates to attend the 3rd International Conference for Carceral Geography, organised by the Carceral Geography Working Group (CGWG) of the Royal Geographical Society – Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG) and The International Criminological Research Unit (ICRU), University of Liverpool. The conference is hosted by the School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool in conjunction with the Power, Space and Cultural Change research group in the Department of Geography and Planning.

Conference registration is free. Catering for both days will be available at the cost charge of £27 to include lunch and all refreshment breaks. An optional conference dinner will also be available. Please register here.

counterpoints and counter-intuition

The 3rd International Conference for Carceral Geography provides an opportunity for presentation and discussion of work on all forms of carcerality; camps, confinement, custody, detention and incarceration, from carceral geographers, and scholars, scholar-activists and practitioners from all disciplines. Contributions from Early Career Researchers are especially welcomed.

The conference theme of “counterpoints and counter-intuition” is intended encourage both a diversity of perspectives on the carceral, and to stimulate discussion of that which is or was unanticipated, had been unimagined, or was unforeseen.

‘Counterpoint’ is a term used in musical theory to describe the relationship between voices that are simultaneously independent yet interdependent. We deploy this term here to describe the differing perspectives which characterise carceral research – including scholar-activism aligned to abolitionism or reductionism, and research conducted within and with the formal approval of, carceral establishments. We see all of these voices as purposeful and productive, and through this theme we seek to highlight both their independence, and the interdependences between them. All perspectives are welcome, and the theme of ‘carceral counterpoint’ encourages constructive and collaborative dialogue across the diversity of perspectives.

Through the theme of ‘carceral counter-intuition’ we seek to explore the unexpectedness of carcerality, its unimagined forms and its unforeseen aspects – and simultaneously to interrogate their apparently counter-intuitive nature. Carceral geographers and others have noted that the carceral exists in unexpected places beyond the formal contours of detention or prison; carceral scholarship is increasingly identifying previously under-recognised aspects and consequences of confinement, and innovative methodologies are uncovering under-researched elements of carceral experience. And beyond the ‘academy’, 2018 has itself brought the ‘unanticipated’. An unexpected heatwave in Europe has caused deterioration in prison conditions – yet climate change research tells such that such extreme weather events are increasingly likely. And the US has seen the unthinkable – the separation of migrant families at the border and the incarceration of migrant children – in a move depicted by the Trump administration as an inevitable consequence of the enforcement of a ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy.

The conference committee are pleased to welcome Professor Dominique Moran (University of Birmingham) and Professor Chris Philo (University of Glasgow) as this year’s keynote speakers.

moranDominique Moran’s research in the UK, Russia and Scandinavia, supported by the ESRC, has contributed to her transdisciplinary work, informed by and extending theoretical developments in geography, criminology and prison sociology, but also interfacing with contemporary debates over hyperincarceration, recidivism and the advance of the punitive state. Dominique is author of ‘Carceral Geography: Spaces and Practices of Incarceration’ (2015) and an editor of Historical Geographies of Prisons: Unlocking the Usable Carceral Past (2015), ‘Carceral Spaces: Mobility and Agency in Imprisonment and Migrant Detention’ (2013), and Carceral Spatiality: Dialogues between Geography and Criminology (2017).

philoChris Philo’s ongoing research interests concern the historical, cultural and rural geographies of mental ill-health, supplemented by scholarship in the following fields as well: social geographies of ‘outsiders’; children’s geographies; new animal geographies; historical and contemporary figurations of public space; geographies of ‘new spiritual practices’; Foucauldian studies; the history, historiography and theoretical development of geography. Much of his historical research on ‘madness’ and asylums is brought together in A Geographical History of Institutional Provision for the Insane from Medieval Times to the 1860s in England and Wales: The Space Reserved for Insanity (2004).

Confirmed presenters include:

Dr Adam Barker and Dr Emma Battell Lowman (University of Hertfordshire)
Dr Nadia von Benzon (Lancaster University)
Habmo Birwe (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
Iolanthe Brooks (Clark University)
Dr Kathy Burrell (University of Liverpool)
Dr Rachid El Mounacifi
Dr Luca Follis (Lancaster University)
Dr Rachel Forster (Novus and HMP Wakefield)
Dr Carly Guest and Dr Rachel Seoighe (Middlesex University)
Maria Hagan (University of Cambridge)
Liza Kim Jackson (York University) and Kirsten McIlveen (University of British Columbia) Franz James and Dr Sepideh Olausson (University of Gothenburg)
Prof. Helen Johnston (University of Hull) and Dr Jo Turner (Staffordshire University)
Elizabeth Lara (Deakin University)
Claire Loughnan (The University of Melbourne)
Eleanor March (University of Surrey)
Dr Olivier Milhaud (Sorbonne Université)
Prof. Christophe Mincke (National Institute for Criminalistics and Criminology [NICC])
Leah Montange (University of Toronto)
Prof. Mike Nellis (University of Strathclyde)
Kaitlyn Quinn and Erika Canossini (University of Toronto)
Maddalena Rodelli (University of Padua)
Dr Laura Routley (Newcastle University)
Dr Anna Schliehe and Dr Julie Laursen (University of Cambridge)
Dr Amaha Senu (University of Cardiff)
Dr Luca Sterchele (University of Padua)
Jack Tomlin (Nottingham University)
Hallam Tuck (University of Oxford)

Including a drinks reception with music and photography exhibitions by:

Lucy Cathcart Frödén (University of Glasgow and Vox Liminis)
Dr Annie Pfingst (Goldsmiths, University of London)
Dr Anna Schliehe (University of Cambridge)

Getting to University of Liverpool

Arriving by air – Liverpool John Lennon Airport is around eight miles from the city centre. A low-cost bus service from the airport to the city centre is operated by Merseytravel. It is also possible to use Uber or taxi services.

Manchester Airport is 45 minutes from Liverpool city centre. Direct connections are available by train.

Arriving by road and rail – The nearest train station is Liverpool Lime Street (10 minute walk from campus) and National Express coaches stop at Liverpool One bus station (20 minute walk from campus). The pendolino service to London Euston is direct  and takes 2 hours 13 minutes.

Liverpool is well-connected to the UK motorway network. From the M6 take the M62, M58 or M56 direct to the destination.

There are visitor car parks provided by the University. These are located at Brownlow Street and Mount Pleasant (opposite the Catholic Cathedral). Please see the Campus map for visitor car park locations.


There is a wide variety of accommodation available around the city and, as such, we have not specified any one particular place for delegates. Some suggestions for hotels close to campus include:

Hope Street Hotel (£££)

The Hallmark Inn (££)

Hatters Hostel (£)

On-campus accommodation is also available. Details are here.

Please direct any enquiries to