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.

CFP AAG 2022: Disease, contamination, dehumanization, and immigration control 

CFP AAG 2022: Disease, contamination, dehumanization, and immigration control 

Call for papers: American Association of Geographers, Feb. 25-March 1, 2022, New York 

Session: Disease, contamination, dehumanization, and immigration control 


Nancy Hiemstra (Stony Brook University,

Deirdre Conlon (University of Leeds,  

In the contemporary era of unprecedented human mobility, migrants are often discursively cast as carriers and spreaders of disease, as ‘contaminants’ to nationalist imaginaries and as an ‘infection’ to society and social (dis)order. The productivity of metaphors in geography and across the social sciences is well-established (Cresswell 1997; Brown 2000; Ahmed 2004;). Scholars recognize the power of metaphor to shape approaches to immigrants and immigration control (e.g. Ellis and Wright 1998; Santa Ana 2002; Ahmed 2004; Chavez 2013; Gorman 2021). With the onset of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, metaphors of illness and contagion have again been weaponized to further migrant exclusion, containment, precarity, and hostility. 

In addition to being characterized by intensified restrictions on migrant mobility, the current moment has also brought into relief other ailments of immigration enforcement systems (e.g. Longazel and Hallett 2021). For instance, the siting of immigrant detention facilities often heightens exposure to environmental toxins, and in detention gender, race, ethnicity, and health inequalities are amplified. Policies such as the Migrant Protection Protocol, a.k.a. ‘Remain in Mexico’, in the U.S. or ‘housing dispersal’ for asylum seekers in the UK effectively produce conditions that render migrants more prone to precarity and ill-health.    

This session invites contributions that consider how metaphors of disease, contamination, sickness, ill/health and dehumanizing constructions are reflected in and influence immigration control. How do discursive tools play out in policy making and in practice? What are the material effects of such discourse on the ground and in migrants’ lived experiences? How do they impact migrant spatialities? To what ends can engagement with and analyses of metaphors of disease and contamination be put to use to disrupt metanarratives that are pervasive in connection with migrants and immigration controls? 

We invite papers on the following themes in relation to human im/mobility:  

*control of migrants through metaphor 

*deployment of metaphors, explicitly or implicitly, against specific groups 

*COVID-19 pandemic 

*overlap of security and health/sickness 

*Border security and policies 

*Racial profiling 

*Gendered, sexualized, raced, classed, and ableist impacts of metaphors of ill-health  

*Environmental racism 

Papers can focus on the discussion of metaphor, or they can touch upon it obliquely. 

Please send a paper title and an abstract of 250 words max. by Fri. Oct. 1 2021. Abstracts and inquiries should be sent to Deirdre Conlon and Nancy Hiemstra At this date we are planning to be in New York for the conference but this may change due to COVID-19. If AAG permits, we will make this a hybrid (in-person/virtual) session. 


Ahmed, S. (2004). The cultural politics of emotion. New York: Routledge. 

Brown, M. (2000). Closet Space: Geographies of Metaphor from the Body to the Globe. New York: Routledge. 

Cresswell, T. (1997). Weeds, Plagues, and Bodily Secretions: A Geographical Interpretation of Metaphors of Displacement. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 87(2), 330-345. Retrieved August 17, 2021, from 

Chavez, L. R. (2013). The Latino Threat: Constructing Immigrants, Citizens, and the Nation. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 

Ellis, M., & Wright, R. (1998). The Balkanization Metaphor in the Analysis of U.S. Immigration. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 88(4), 686-698.  

Gorman, C.S. (2021). Defined by the Flood: Alarmism and the Legal Thresholds of US Political Asylum. Geopolitics, 26 (1): 215-235. 

Longazel, J. and Hallet, M.C. (2021) Migration and Mortality: Social Death, Dispossession and Survival in the Americas. Philadelphia: Temple UP. 

Santa Ana, O. 2002. Brown tide rising: Metaphors of Latinos in contemporary American public discourse

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