Call for session sponsorship at the RGS-IBG Cardiff 2018

The Carceral Geography Working Group (CGWG) of the RGS-IBG is pleased to extend anMain-Building_BlueSky_GreenGrass invitation to sponsor sessions at the next RGS-IBG Annual International Conference.

The conference will take place at Cardiff University from Wednesday 29 to Friday 31 August 2018 with workshops and opening events on Tuesday 28 August.

The chair of the 2018 conference is Professor Paul Milbourne (Cardiff University). The conference theme is ‘Geographical landscapes / changing landscapes of geography’.

Since the CGWG was only founded earlier this year, we are excited to take advantage of our first opportunity to sponsor sessions at the conference!

Full call for sessions can be found here:

The deadline for session proposals submissions to CGWG is Monday 18 December 2017.

Please email submissions to Dominique Moran (, including session title and abstract (max 400 words), name(s) and affiliation(s) of the session convenor(s), and the anticipated format of the session.

Session convenors will be notified in due course as to whether or not CGWG will be able to provide sponsorship for your session. We can sponsor up to 12 session slots.

Please bear in mind that sessions cannot occupy more than two slots in the whole programme.

Once a sponsorship decision has been made, you will have until Friday 16 February 2018 to provide the full session details (with all proposed papers and presenters) for final submission to the RGS-IBG.

The full guidelines for organizing sessions can be found at:

Please note that a list of key deadlines is available at

We look forward to hearing from you. If you have any specific queries regarding session proposal submissions, please contact Dominique Moran (

Call for Committee Members for the Carceral Geography Working Group

Ordinary Members are warmly invited to join the Carceral Geography Working Group committee!

It is intended that at the first AGM of the Carceral Geography Working Group of the RGS-IBG, one or more Ordinary Members, who will become members of the CGWG committee, will be elected.

Ordinary Members will be welcome to assist in CGWG business, and particularly the organisation of events and networking opportunities. They may in future wish to stand for other roles such as CGWG Chair, Treasurer or Secretary.

Candidates will need to be proposed and seconded by members of the CGWG. Candidates must be members of the CGWG but do not necessarily need to be paid members of the RGS-IBG. (See for information about how to join).

The AGM will be held at the 2nd International Conference for Carceral Geography, 11-12 Dec 2017 at the University of Birmingham. The AGM itself will be on 12 Dec. Candidates, proposers and seconders do not need to be in attendance at the conference, or at the AGM, but must have submitted their nominations to the Chair, in writing (email is acceptable), by the commencement of the AGM at 9am GMT on 12 Dec. Nominations must include the names of the nominee, proposer and seconder.

Candidates who seek proposers or seconders are invited to use the mail list, to which all CGWG members are subscribed. Alternatively, since the AGM will take place on the second day of the conference, it may be possible for conference attendees to make arrangements during the first day.

Call for Postgraduate Rep(s) for the Carceral Geography Working Group

Doctoral and Masters research students are invited to join the Carceral Geography Working Group committee!

It is intended that at the first AGM of the Carceral Geography Working Group of the RGS-IBG, one or more Postgraduate Representatives, who will become members of the CGWG committee, will be elected.

The role of PG Rep(s), who should themselves be postgraduate students, will be to liaise with the postgraduate community in Carceral Geography, and to assist in CGWG business, particularly the organisation of events and networking opportunities for PG members.

Candidates for PG Rep will need to be proposed and seconded by members of the CGWG. Candidates must be members of the CGWG but do not necessarily need to be members of the RGS-IBG. (See for information about how to join).

The AGM will be held at the 2nd International Conference for Carceral Geography, 11-12 Dec 2017 at the University of Birmingham. The AGM itself will be on 12 Dec. Candidates, proposers and seconders do not need to be in attendance at the conference, or at the AGM, but must have submitted their nominations to the Chair, in writing (email is acceptable), by the commencement of the AGM at 9am GMT on 12 Dec. Nominations must include the names of the nominee, proposer and seconder.

Candidates who seek proposers or seconders are invited to use the mail list, to which all CGWG members are subscribed. Alternatively, since the AGM will take place on the second day of the conference, it may be possible for conference attendees to make arrangements during the first day, during which there will be a lunchtime session for Early Career Researchers.

2nd International Conference for Carceral Geography – programme announced

The programme for the Print2nd International Conference for Carceral Geography, to be held at the University of Birmingham, 11-12 December 2017, 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 5th December 2017. Please note that the last date to register and elect to attend the conference dinner will be 24th November 2017.

2017 is a milestone year for Carceral Geography. It marks forty years after the English translation of Discipline and Punish, twenty years after Teresa Dirsuweit’s ground-breaking study of women’s incarceration in South Africa, and ten years after the publication of Ruth Wilson Gilmore’s Golden Gulag. Given the rapid development of the sub-discipline since and through these milestone publications, the intention of this conference is to recognise the founding of the Carceral Geography Working Group of the RGS-IBG in 2017 with an event which both reflects the diversity and energy of this area of research, and enables further interdisciplinary dialogue and development.

We are delighted that Ruth Wilson Gilmore will be joining us as a keynote speaker at the conference, alongside Andrew Jefferson, James Oleson, David Maguire and Mary Bosworth, and that Chris Philo and Ben Crewe will be presenting their work in a special keynote Dialogue session. The conference will feature ten paper sessions, with 34 papers from 37 authors, as well as an exhibition of the photographic work of Annie Pfingst, a lunchtime networking session for Early Career Researchers in Carceral Geography, a screening of Brett Story’s  The Prison in Twelve Landscapes, and the AGM of the Carceral Geography Working Group of the RGS-IBG

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



CFP AAG 2018 Destitution Economies: Mapping Relationships of Enforced Precarity and Migration Control

Call for Papers: American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting (AAG) 2018, New Orleans, LA, April 10-14th 2018

Title: Destitution Economies: Mapping Relationships of Enforced Precarity and Migration Control

Session organizers: Kate Coddington (Durham University, UK), Deirdre Conlon (University of Leeds, UK), Lauren Martin (Durham University, UK)

Recent and emerging work by critical geography and migration studies scholars examines the incremental, ongoing, everyday, and seemingly banal sites and spaces where forms of commodification, dispossession, and destitution are (re)produced in immigration enforcement and in migration control and management. Scholarship on migration ‘hotspots’ at Europe’s external borders and polymorphic borders (Burridge et al. 2017; Martin and Prokkola, 2017; Nov 8, 2016), for example, describes how states and power are respatialized and reconfigured to produce flexible, surreptitious, and possibly unintended forms of control. In addition, research that goes beyond privatization of immigration enforcement and management examines how bureaucratized, commoditized domopolitics are embedded with the experiences of detained migrants and asylum seekers on a daily basis (see Mountz, 2010; Darling, 2011; Conlon and Hiemstra, 2016; Gill, 2016). Critical analyses of the intersections between (humanitarian) care and control also explore how precarious, insecure, or clandestine forms of subsistence for destitute asylum seekers as well as other irregular migrants have become increasingly commonplace (Martin, 2015; Coddington, 2017; Lewis et al. 2015; Williams and Massaro, 2016; Mayblin, 2017).

Fundamental to this work is attention to political economies alongside a feminist political geographical focus on the everyday workings of states and other agents and institutions of power. Within this framework, economies are understood to incorporate and also to exceed more traditional approaches to political economy. Here, economies are taken to be about production and exchange; yet, simultaneously they are linked to social, cultural, intersectional, and intimate relationships that manifest in uneven and complicated ways (see Gilmore, 2007; Wilson, 2012; Pratt and Rosner, 2012; Katz, 2015). This work is also attentive to the slow violence (see Nixon, 2011; Pain, 2014; Cahill et al. forthcoming) of current policy and practice in immigration enforcement and control. Work on the reproduction of precariousness through immigration enforcement therefore highlights the everyday, continual, staggered, and oft-invisible iterations of structural violence that irregular migrants and other marginalized groups encounter relentlessly in their day-to-day lives. We identify the production of ‘destitution economies,’ the sites, spaces and practices where precarity and slow violence are (re)produced and enacted for irregular migrants, as a key element of life for irregular migrants today.

This paper session aims to build upon these urgent concerns and emergent research contributions by bringing together political economic, feminist geographic, and interdisciplinary work on sites, spaces and practices where (irregular) migration and destitution economies converge.  We invite submissions from those thinking about destitution economies and/or engaged in related research and activism. Possible themes may address (but are not limited to) these questions:

  • Where do destitution economies take shape? How might they be identified, mapped, and accounted for?
  • How, precisely, do destitution economies work? How do forms of migration management rely on destitution economies and also help to produce them? How are they configured? What are their logics and/or limits?
  • Who is involved in operating destitution economies? What roles do different state / non-state agencies and actors play? What is gained (or lost) with their involvement?
  • What are the short term and longer-term effects and impacts of destitution economies vis-à-vis migrant everyday life, migration management/control, and for critical conceptions of the same?
  • What methodological challenges and opportunities are presented by ‘destitution economies’?
  • How are / might critical researchers and migrant support activists/advocates work (together) to challenge or disrupt the slow, incremental, and frequently invisible violence that destitution economies effect?

Please send title and abstract of no more than 250 words by Friday October 20th 2017.

Abstracts and inquiries should be sent to: Deirdre Conlon and Kate Coddington

Registration open, and new Confirmed Speakers: 2nd International Conference for Carceral Geography, 11-12 Dec 2017, University of Birmingham


Registration is now open for the 2nd International Conference for Carceral Geography, to be held at the University of Birmingham on 11th and 12th December 2017.

In addition to the previously confirmed speakers (Mary Bosworth, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, David Maguire and James Oleson), we are delighted to announce that Andrew Jefferson and Chris Philo will also be addressing the conference.

Paper and session proposals are warmly invited – see the CFP for more details on submission procedures and timelines.

Registration will remain open until 5th December. Intended delegates are welcome to register at any time, but prospective paper presenters and/or session organisers may prefer to wait until decisions on papers/sessions (and any travel/accommodation bursaries requested) have been communicated by the conference organisers (by 31 Oct 2017).

Although the conference is free to attend, delegates may opt to add day catering and/or the conference dinner at the point of registration. Please note that it is not possible to subsequently add these payable items to an existing registration, without first cancelling the initial registration and taking out a new one. 

Carceral Geography Working Group: new Book Review series

The Carceral Geography Working Group is instigating a book review series to be hosted here on the CGWG website.

The first batch of books (back cover blurb) for review, for which we are now inviting reviewers, are:

Badcock, Sarah (2016) A Prison Without Walls?: Eastern Siberian Exile in the Last Badcock A prison without wallsYears of Tsarism A Prison Without Walls? presents a snapshot of daily life for exiles and their dependents in eastern Siberia during the very last years of the Tsarist regime, from the 1905 revolution to the collapse of the Tsarist regime in 1917. This was an extraordinary period in Siberia’s history as a place of punishment. There was an unprecedented rise of Siberia’s penal use in this fifteen-year window, and a dramatic increase in the number of exiles punished for political offences. This work focuses on the region of Eastern Siberia, taking the regions of Irkutsk and Yakutsk in north-eastern Siberia as its focal points. Siberian exile was the antithesis of Foucault’s modern prison. The State did not observe, monitor, and control its exiles closely; often not even knowing where the exiles were. Exiles were free to govern their daily lives; free of fences and free from close observation and supervision, but despite these freedoms, Siberian exile represented one of Russia’s most feared punishments. In this volume, Sarah Badcock seeks to humanise the individuals who made up the mass of exiles, and the men, women, and children who followed them voluntarily into exile. A Prison Without Walls? is structured in a broad narrative arc that moves from travel to exile, life and communities in exile, work and escape, and finally illness in exile. The book gives a personal, human, empathetic insight into what exilic experience entailed, and allows us to comprehend why eastern Siberia was regarded as a terrible punishment, despite its apparent freedoms.

Behan, Cormac (2017) Citizen convicts: Prisoners, politics and the voteBehan citizen convicts Prisoner enfranchisement remains one of the few contested electoral issues in twenty-first-century democracies. It is at the intersection of punishment and representative government. Many jurisdictions remain divided on whether or not prisoners should be allowed access to the franchise. This book investigates the experience of prisoner enfranchisement in the Republic of Ireland. It examines the issue in a comparative context, beginning by locating prisoner enfranchisement in a theoretical framework, exploring the arguments for and against allowing prisoners to vote. Drawing on global developments in jurisprudence and penal policy, it examines the background to, and wider significance of, this change in the law. Using the Irish experience to examine the issue in a wider context, this book argues that the legal position concerning the voting rights of the imprisoned reveals wider historical, political and social influences in the treatment of those confined in penal institutions.

Dzur, Albert, Ian Loader, and Richard Sparks (2016) (Eds) Democratic Theory and Mass Incarceration Dzur democratic theoryThe United States leads the world in incarceration, and the United Kingdom is persistently one of the European countries with the highest per capita rates of imprisonment. Yet despite its increasing visibility as a social issue, mass incarceration – and its inconsistency with core democratic ideals – rarely surfaces in contemporary Anglo-American political theory. Democratic Theory and Mass Incarceration seeks to overcome this puzzling disconnect by deepening the dialogue between democratic theory and punishment policy. This collection of original essays initiates a multi-disciplinary discussion among philosophers, political theorists, and criminologists regarding ways in which contemporary democratic theory might begin to think beyond mass incarceration. Rather than viewing punishment as a natural reaction to crime and imprisonment as a sensible outgrowth of this reaction, the volume argues that crime and punishment are institutions that reveal unmet demands for public oversight and democratic influence. Chapters explore theoretical paths towards de-carceration and alternatives to prison, suggest ways in which democratic theory can strengthen recent reform movements, and offer creative alternatives to mass incarceration. Democratic Theory and Mass Incarceration offers guideposts for critical thinking about incarceration, examining ways to rebuild crime control institutions and create a healthier, more just society.

Furman, Rich, Douglas Epps, and Greg Lamphear (Eds) (2016) Detaining the Immigrant Other: Global and Transnational Issues Furman detaining the immigrant otherThis edited text explores immigration detention through a global and transnational lens. Immigration detention is frequently transnational; the complex dynamics of apprehending, detaining, and deporting undocumented immigrants involve multiple organizations that coordinate and often act across nation state boundaries. The lives of undocumented immigrants are also transnational in nature; the detention of immigrants in one country (often without due process and without providing the opportunity to contact those in their country of origin) has profound economic and emotional consequences for their families. The authors explore immigration detention in countries that have not often been previously explored in the literature. Some of these chapters include analyses of detention in countries such as Malaysia, South Africa, Turkey and Indonesia. They also present chapters that are comparative in nature and deal with larger, macro issues about immigration detention in general. The authors’ frequent usage of lived experience in conjunction with a broad scholarly knowledge base is what sets this volume apart from others, making it useful and practical for scholars in the social sciences and anybody interested in the global phenomenon of immigration detention.

Hasan, Mushirul (2016) Roads to Freedom: Prisoners under Colonial Rule Hasan Roads to FreedomThis book examines the history of prison and prisoners in colonial India. Based on substantial archival research, it presents the conditions of the prisoners, their vision for the freedom movement and the various aspects of prisons in the subcontinent. By focusing on the lives and motivations of select prisoners, it places their lived experiences within the larger rubric of Indian nationalism and explores the notions of the political, protest and resistance during the first half of the twentieth century. The work also deals with issues such as the differences between Indian and European prisons as well as the conception of criminal classes in the colony. It therefore fills in a gap area in modern Indian history and provides a historical context to the contemporary Indian prison system. It draws upon a wide range of sources including the records at the National Archives of India, private papers, native newspaper reports, memoirs, biographies, and autobiographies.

Johnson, Andrew (2017) If I Give My Soul: Faith Behind Bars in Rio de Janeiro Johnson If I give my soulPentecostal Christianity is flourishing inside the prisons of Rio de Janeiro. To find out why, Andrew Johnson dug deep into the prisons themselves. He began by spending two weeks living in a Brazilian prison as if he were an inmate: sleeping in the same cells as the inmates, eating the same food, and participating in the men’s daily routines as if he were incarcerated. And he returned many times afterward to observe prison churches’ worship services, which were led by inmates who had been voted into positions of leadership by their fellow prisoners. He accompanied Pentecostal volunteers when they visited cells that were controlled by Rio’s most dominant criminal gang to lead worship services, provide health care, and deliver other social services to the inmates. Why does this faith resonate so profoundly with the incarcerated? Pentecostalism, argues Johnson, is the “faith of the killable people” and offers ex-criminals and gang members the opportunity to positively reinvent their public personas. If I Give My Soul is a deeply personal look at the relationship between the margins of Brazilian society and the Pentecostal faith, both behind bars and in the favelas, Rio de Janeiro’s peripheral neighbourhoods. Based on his intimate relationships with the figures in this book, Johnson makes a passionate case that Pentecostal practice behind bars is an act of political radicalism as much as a spiritual experience.

Moran, Dominique and Anna Schliehe (Eds) (2017) Carceral Spatiality: Dialogues between Geography and Criminology carceral-spatialityThis edited collection speaks to and expands on existing debates around incarceration. Rather than focusing on the bricks and mortar of institutional spaces, this volume’s inventive engagements in ‘thinking through carcerality’ touch on more elusive concepts of identity, memory and internal – as well as physical – walls and bars. Edited by two human geographers, and positioned within a criminological context, this original collection draws together essays by geographers and criminologists with a keen interest in carceral studies. The authors stretch their disciplinary boundaries; tackling a range of contemporary literatures to engage in new conversations and raising important questions within current debates on incarceration. A highly interdisciplinary project, this edited collection will be of particular interest to scholars of the criminal justice system, social policy, and spatial carceral studies.

Reviews should be c1000 words in length, delivered within 2 months of receipt of the book, and should specifically consider the work in relation to carceral geography and geographical conceptualisations of confinement. Reviews will be published on the website.

Potential reviewers, please contact the CGWG committee via to claim your chosen book!

Prison Architecture and Design in the Context of Reform: Symposium at the Royal Institute of British Architects, 2 June 2017

PAS 2017 TwitterTo mark the end of a major, international ESRC-funded research study into prison architecture, design and technology conducted by the University of Brighton and the University of Birmingham, delegates are invited to register for a Symposium on Prison Architecture and Design in the Context of Reform.

The Symposium will be held on 2 June 2017, at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), 66 Portland Place, London

Reflecting the three-year study, the Symposium will focus on prison planning, design and modernisation in England & Wales, Scotland, Norway and Denmark. Speakers and delegates will be mixture of academic researchers with a particular interest in prisons and imprisonment, architects who have designed custodial facilities, prison managers and senior corrections and justice personnel.

The programme will include panels on:

  • prison reform in England & Wales in the current context of reform
  • the Nordic experience
  • the Scottish experience
  • the power of horticulture, gardens and landscape

and a

  • World Cafe discussion

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Prof Nick Hardwick (Royal Holloway, University of London, and former HM Chief Inspector of Prisons)
  • Prof Yvonne Jewkes (University of Brighton)
  • Christopher Liddle (Chairman, HLM Architects, London)
  • Mads Mandrup Hansen (CF Moller Architects, Copenhagen)
  • Stein Erik Laeskogen (Statsbygg, Oslo)
  • Dr Berit Johnsen (Head of Research, the Correctional Service of Norway Staff Academy (KRUS), Oslo)
  • Dr Sarah Armstrong (University of Glasgow)
  • Roland Karthaus (Matter Architecture and RIBA Research Trust award holder)
  • Dr Daryl Martin (University of York)
  • Dr Jen Turner (University of Liverpool)
  • Dr Geraldine Brown (Coventry University)
  • Erwin James (The Guardian)
  • Karl Lenton (Safe Innovation/The Free Prisoner)
  • Dr Kate Gooch (University of Leicester and HMP Berwyn)

Attendance is Free. Register for your place here.

‘Carceral Crossings’ launched by the Carceral Geography Working Group of the RGS-IBG

With the launch of the Carceral Geography Working Group, we also launch a series of Carceral Crossings, intended to showcase both new scholarship in this field, and to provide an opportunity for Early Career Researcher (undergraduate, masters, doctoral, and postdoctoral) members of the CGWG to bring their own research to the attention of the wider community.

Crossings combine brief reviews of a recent publication (e.g. a book or paper), with discussion of the resonance of that publication for the author’s ongoing work. Intended as blog-type pieces of up to 750 words (excluding references), submissions are warmly invited. If you would like to submit a Crossings piece, please scroll down and fill out the form below.

The first Carceral Crossings piece comes from Victoria Pereyra Iraola, a doctoral researcher at the University of Warwick, reflecting on Turner and Peters’ edited collection ‘Carceral Mobilities’ and introducing her own research on incarceration in Argentina. Read it here!

One-day conference at U.Birmingham for Centre for Crime, Justice and Policing – 26 June 2017

The Centre for Crime, Justice and Policing at the University of Birmingham is holding a one-day conference at the Edgbaston campus, Birmingham.


Confirmed topics include: mental health and offending, domestic violence, sexual offending, spatial analysis of crime, carceral geography, early intervention, prosecution, serial offending, solvability analysis, wellbeing of emergency services personnel, and extremism.

This event will be of interest to practitioners and academics working in the areas of crime, justice and policing, as well as stakeholders and policy-makers. Students of these topics are very welcome to attend too as this will present an excellent opportunity to network.

Register for this event by completing a quick online form.