Call for papers now live for 5th International Conference for Carceral Geography

5th International Conference for Carceral Geography

The call for papers is now live for the 5th International Conference for Carceral Geography, which takes place on 14-15 December 2022.

This year’s conference is hosted by The University of Melbourne, Australia. The conference will be a hybrid online/in-person event, with sessions across multiple time zones and locations.

The conference theme is Confinement: Spaces and Practices of care and control.

Read the call for papers and find out how to submit your abstract.

New ‘Carceral Crossings’ article online now

The latest article in our Carceral Crossings series is online now: Carceral control through a university student lens at homecoming.

In this new article, Emma Dann, an undergraduate student at Queen’s University, Canada, reflects on her experiences of carceral immobilisation during Homecoming at her university. 

Emma describes how celebrations in October 2021 were subject to ‘a police presence more extensive and more intense than the University and its students had experienced before’. Drawing on her academic study of carceral geography, she argues that the policing of the celebrations represents ‘a clear example that techniques and technologies of confinement seep out of ‘carceral’ spaces into the everyday, domestic, street, and institutional spaces’.

Read Emma’s article online here

About Carceral Crossings

Carceral Crossings provides a forum for researchers to explore the interactions between carceral geography and their own research and/or life experiences.

Possible topics for Carceral Crossings articles include:

  • Discussion of carceral geography scholarship that has been formative for the author’s own research
  • Analysis of manifestations of carcerality in the news or in everyday life
  • Reflections on carceral geography research and methods
  • Discussion of learning and/or teaching carceral geography

The format is informal, comprising blog-style pieces of up to 750 words, excluding references. We are particularly keen to publish writing by Early Career Researchers (undergraduate, masters, doctoral, and postdoctoral).

To find out more, or to submit your writing, please visit our Carceral Crossings webpage.

Save the date – 5th International Conference for Carceral Geography

The Carceral Geography Working Group is delighted to announce that the 5th International Conference for Carceral Geography will take place on Wednesday 14 and Thursday 15 December 2022.

The conference will be hosted by The University of Melbourne, Australia, and will be a hybrid online/in-person event, with sessions across multiple time zones and locations.

The conference theme is Confinement: Spaces and Practices of care and control.

More details and a call for papers will follow very soon…

Call for book reviews

The Carceral Geography Working Group is making a call for book reviews.

We are currently seeking reviewers for the following titles:

  • Herrity, K, Schmidt, B and Warr, J (2021) Sensory penalties, Emerald Publishers.
  • Turner, J and Knight, V (2020) The Prison Cell: Embodied and Everyday Spaces of Incarceration, Palgrave.
  • Froden, M (2021) A Circular Argument: A Creative Exploration of Power and Space, Emerald Publishers.
  • Schliehe, A (2021) Young Women’s Carceral Geographies: Abandonment, Trouble and Mobility, Emerald Publishers.
  • Morelle, M (2019) Yaounde Carcerale – Geographie d’une ville et de sa prison, Lyon.
  • Gacek, J (2022) Portable Prisons: Electronic Monitoring and the Creation of Carceral Territory, McGill – Queens University Press.
  • Pieris, A and Horiuchi, L (2021) The Architecture of Confinement: Incarceration Camps of the Pacific War, Cambridge University Press.

Reviews should be approximately 1000 words in length and delivered within 2 months of receipt of the book. They should specifically consider the work in relation to carceral geography and geographical conceptualisations of confinement.

Reviews will be published on the book review page of our website.

Contact us

If you would be interested in reviewing any of the titles listed above, or would like to suggest a further title for review, please contact us. We welcome reviews of books in languages other than English, and also invite suggestions of colleagues who may be able to assist.

Upcoming event: Explorations in Carceral Geography – Prisons in Africa

The next event in our Explorations in Carceral Geography seminar series will take place on Wednesday 6 April 2022, 10:00-12:00 CET with the title: Prisons in Africa: Imprint, value, justice, reform.

Explorations in Carceral Geography is a participatory and interdisciplinary seminar series, organised by Christophe Mincke, Olivier Milhaud and Anna Schliehe.

The seminar programme features the following invited speakers:

  • Julia Hornberger: University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • Frédéric Le Marcis: ENS Lyon, France
  • Marie Morelle: University of Lumière Lyon 2, France

Marie Morelle, Frédéric Le Marcis, and Julia Hornberger edited Confinement, Punishment and Prisons in Africa (Routledge, 2021).  Winding up with the rhetoric of exceptionalism, they present a nuanced critique of the prison experience in diverse detention facilities across Africa. What makes their work so intriguing are the comparisons they were able to draw across a wide range of case studies and research approaches.

This is a free online event but please register via Eventbrite:

Postgraduate Paper Prize Winner

The Carceral Geography Working Group is delighted to announce the winner of our inaugural Postgraduate Paper Prize:

Lauren Jade Powell: “The Militant Suffragettes and the Politics of Self-Destruction”

Lauren’s paper focuses on the imprisonment, hunger strike and forcible feeding of UK women’s suffrage campaigners during the Edwardian period, employing critical discourse analysis of archival documents to examine the politics of self-destruction and the weaponization of life within carceral space. The paper is based on Lauren’s MRes Dissertation in Geography, at the University of Exeter. She is currently applying for a PhD to continue her research into self-destructive politics and protest within carceral systems.

The selection panel were particularly impressed with Lauren’s conceptualisation of hunger striking as a politics of self-destruction, her analysis of suffragette protest and use of archival sources and engagement with a range of scholarship on corporeal politics, bio-sovereignty, and discipline.

Congratulations to Lauren on an outstanding paper, and to all entrants to the Prize for their insightful, rigorous and engaging research.

You can read Lauren’s paper and abstract below:



This paper, utilising archival documentation, aims to examine the Edwardian women’s suffrage movement (1904-1014), exploring the relationship between the politics of self-destruction (namely hunger strikes) and the weaponization of life within carceral space. It discusses the findings of a critical discourse analysis focusing on digital documents – predominantly, newspaper articles and government/medical reports – found within the ‘Women of the National Archives’ collection. The analysis discusses how modalities of self-destruction (namely hunger strikes) transform and weaponize the corporeal body – predominantly by embodying the principles of martyrdom and self-sacrifice; and through weaponizing the societal ideas of sex hierarchy. Additionally, a theoretical framework – coined bio-sovereignty by Bhat (2019) – is used to examine the ways in which the state, in turn, weaponizes the corporeal body through violence and disciplinary mechanisms within Holloway Prison, in order to delegitimise the women’s suffrage movement. Forcible feeding, as a response to self-destructive politics within carceral landscapes, employs [1] various modalities of scientific knowledge; and [2] a biopolitical hierarchisation of populations to justify, and legitimise, both corporeal violence and disciplinary-based mechanisms – serving to preserve the lives of protestors in the name of humanitarian action, while concealing and justifying the inhuman nature of its methods.

This paper concludes that both self-destructive politics (namely hunger strikes) and forcible feeding both weaponize the corporeal body – serving to transfer the power of life and death between various political parties through embodied protest and government response. As such, self-destructive politics (and the weaponization of life) raise future questions regarding political legitimacy – what kind of life is allowed to be political within carceral institutions?

Key words: women’s suffrage movement, carceral geographies, self-destructive politics, hunger strikes, bio- sovereignty, political legitimacy, weaponization of life.

Pre-recorded presentations online for “Critical geographies of confinement in Ireland, Britain, and elsewhere”

Pre-recorded presentations are now online for our flipped format event Critical geographies of confinement in Ireland, Britain, and elsewhere.

This innovative flipped format seminar consists of pre-recorded presentations available online, followed by a live panel discussion on Tuesday 1 February 2022, 16:00-17:30 UTC.

View pre-recorded presentations

You can view the pre-recorded presentations online now.

Please make sure you take the time to view the pre-recorded presentations before the live event.

Register for live panel discussion

The live panel discussion takes place on Tuesday 1 February 2022, 16:00-17:30 UTC.

Please register via Eventbrite:

Save the date: Critical geographies of confinement in Ireland, Britain, and elsewhere

Save the date for our first event of 2022!

Critical geographies of confinement in Ireland, Britain, and elsewhere is a flipped format event, with pre-recorded presentations available online, followed by a live panel discussion:

  • Pre-recorded presentations: available Tuesday 25 January 2022
  • Live panel discussion: Tuesday 1 February 2022, 16:00-17:30 UTC

Invited speakers

  • Dr Kate Coddington: University at Albany, State University of New York, US
  • Ella Bytheway-Jackson: University of Liverpool, UK
  • Vukašin Nedeljković: Artist and independent scholar
    and Dr Sasha Brown: Maynooth University, Ireland
  • Bulelani Mfaco: Technological University Dublin, spokesperson for MASI – Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland
  • Dr Adam Barker: University of Sheffield, UK


Free online event. Please register via Eventbrite at:

Full details of how to access pre-recorded presentations will follow soon…

Event organisers

  • Deirdre Conlon (Leeds)
  • Sasha Brown (Maynooth)
  • Joseph Robinson (Maynooth)

Upcoming event: Explorations in Carceral Geography – Friday 17 December

Explorations in Carceral Geography is a new participatory and interdisciplinary seminar series in Carceral Geography, organised by Christophe Mincke, Olivier Milhaud and Anna Schliehe.

The first seminar, Manifest for a politics of rhythm, will take place on Friday 17 December 2021, 10am to 12pm CET.

In this first seminar in the ‘Explorations’ series, we will hear from a group of sociologists and philosophers working on space and mobility. They propose to bring rhythm into debates on spatial and social practices. We will introduce them to carceral research on this topic and will hear about wider discussions and deep reflections on how ‘rhythm’ might offer a new lens for the carceral sphere and beyond.

Invited speakers:

  • Guillaume Drevon – Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research
  • Vincent Kaufmann – Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
  • Luca Pattaroni – Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Free online event. Please register at:

The Explorations in Carceral Geography seminar series aims to provide the time and space to engage in an in-depth way with scholarship on the carceral or on topics that are of interest for carceral researchers. The seminar will focus on extensive discussion and an in-depth insight into works such as books, PhD theses or series of articles. For more information, please visit our event page or download the event flyer.

Undergraduate Dissertation Prize 2021 Announcement

The Carceral Geographies Working Group and Advisory Board are pleased to announce the winner of our inaugural Undergraduate Dissertation Prize:

Georgia White (University of Nottingham) for “’There’s a particular thing about the pregnancy ought to be and how it is for some women’: The experience of pregnancy for refugees and asylum-seekers in the UK.” 

The selection panel was impressed with the dissertation’s nuanced methodological approach and theoretical sophistication, and especially with the originality of the topic and analysis. Not only did White complete an impressive dissertation during a difficult time, but they developed a careful, original approach to the carceral geographies of the UK asylum system that pushes current literature in novel directions. Congratulations, Georgia!

We wish to congratulate all nominees for producing excellent dissertations under very challenging circumstances. The selection panel was impressed by the depth and care with which these students treated their research, their engagement with carceral geography literatures, and the insights they drew from their rich empirical research. These dissertations presented us with the best of undergraduate research and the decision was a difficult one.

Dissertation abstract:

This paper looks at the challenges faced by pregnant refugee and asylum-seeking women in the UK, along with their ability to utilise social capital to build resilience to these. It discusses the findings of a qualitative study consisting of 17 interviews between 25 and 90 minutes with individuals who work with refugees and asylum-seekers in charitable organisations, which is supplemented with secondary data. The analysis discusses the challenges which participants identified among their clients along with the extent to which these can be resisted through vertical networks of charitable organisations and horizontal networks of friends and family. A theoretical framework is implemented with Bauman’s (2004) wasted lives used to understand the treatment of the state in terms of detention, dispersal and destitution. Galtung’s (1969) structural violence is then used to show how this implicates the health of individuals resulting in a pregnancy outcome whereby the actual realisation is far from the potential realisation. Finally, Putnam’s (1993) social capital is used to show the importance of charitable organisations along with strong kinship ties in improving access to antenatal care and experiences of pregnancy.

This concludes that research must more critically understand refugee and asylum-seeking experiences to appreciate their agency (Nguyen 2012). Whilst this research attempts to do this, there is a need to use creative methodologies which work alongside these individuals and form research outcomes that can educate healthcare providers, the general public and this group to have a significant effect on overcoming these challenges. Furthermore, although Putnam’s (1993) social capital is useful in enabling this agency to be recognised this framework does need some re-evaluation to recognise the negative implication that strong social capital can have on healthcare access.