New books in carceral geography

The recent development of carceral geography is indebted to the contributions of French-speaking scholars – even though their work is sometimes not as widely read as it deserves to be. This post seeks to bring to the attention of those able to read them, two terrific new books (in French) by Marie Morelle and Julie de Dardel:

Yaoundé carcérale. Géographie d’une ville et de sa prison by Marie Morelle Lyon ENS Editions, Collection Sociétés, Espaces, Temps 2019 228pp

Based on interviews with detainees, prison leavers, their families, as well as prison administration and NGOs, observations conducted in the prison and in the districts of Yaoundé, Marie Morelle reveals the daily life of Yaoundé central prison. This book goes beyond stereotypes about African prisons, (often reduced to overcrowded and dilapidated spaces, as signs of “states in crisis”) which are still little-known, and puts them into perspective in relation to national and international actions and discourse on prisons. More broadly, the author sheds light on the urban life of marginal populations and the regulatory practices to which they are subjected by the authorities in Cameroon. Demonstrating the existence of a continuum linking prison and working class neighbourhoods, the book shows how the government in power manages poverty as well as political opposition in the city. At the crossroads of urban, social and political approaches in geography, this book is aimed at social science students and anyone interested in prisons and human rights.

Exporter la prison américaine Le système carcéral colombien à l’ère du tournant punitif by Julie de Dardel Neuchâtel Editions Alphil Presses universitaires suisses 2016 264pp.

On May 10, 2001, they transferred me by military plane to the new Valledupar prison. We knew that it was the Yankee regime there. They took everything from me, they gave me a uniform […] and they shaved my head. The guards were very young, they treated us in a completely inhuman way. We had never known that before […]. The detainees quickly launched a protest movement on the subject of access rights. The response was brutal. Repression by fire and blood, with batons and tear gas. 

The testimony of this prisoner reflects the shift in the Colombian prison system following a reform inspired by the American maximum security prison model. Carried out within the framework of the “Plan Colombia” agreements – Washington’s vast anti-drug and anti-guerrilla program in this country – the changes in the Colombian prison system are indicative of the way in which the “punitive turn” initiated in the United States is exported internationally. This book is based on rich ethnographic material, collected during a field survey in Colombia and the United States. The study is based on observations in Colombian prisons and on in-depth interviews with prisoners, family members, guards, prison officials, human rights activists, as well as architects and contractors from the city. American prison industry. The new Colombian prisons are described there as an unprecedented space of dispossession and control, but also as a place of multifaceted resistance from the prison community.

CFP: Matter of Violence – Copenhagen 15-16 May 2020

How can we assemble accounts of the evasive forms of violence lodged in material pasts and futures in this era of fake news, omnipresent data and affective politics? Who is accountable for the violent afterlives of infrastructures? In a time when many of the established boundaries that structured common understandings of violations and responsibilities, matter and people, increasingly turn out unsettled, we urgently need to explore post-disciplinary and cross-domain methodologies to uncover the politics of violence.

KADK School of Architecture, DIGNITY and the Danish Institute for International Studies extend an invitation to an intensive two-day reflection on how to push the envelope of investigations of violence—broadly conceived. The event brings together artists, human rights activists, designers, data scientists and social scientists around shared concerns with matters of violence. They aim to collectively explore the potentialities of transdisciplinary knowledge production. How can we draw upon a plurality of epistemologies to articulate concerns with human rights, violence and power at the threshold of invisibility? Can we develop methodologies that carefully mirror and follow the patchworked and disjunctured forms of perpetration and agency in an age of ruination and the Anthropocene? 

They invite submissions of projects—embryonic or ongoing—that work with the nexus between violence and materiality. They invite both thinkers and doers, artists and scientists, who work with theoretically informed and methodologically innovative projects, to submit introductions to their work in the form of a written synopsis (+/- 300 words) and, if relevant, associated audio-visual materials. They encourage collaborative projects that entail some form of cross-fertilization between art, architecture and anthropology and work with multifaceted approaches and outputs. In the collaborative spirit of the event, they suggest that you should expect some subsequent exchange around your proposal and how it might fit in the event. They will strive to take the discussions of the seminar forward and curate a joint output.

The submission deadline is 15 January 2020

For full details go to  

Call for book chapter abstracts: What works in custodial design?

Custodial design (i.e. of correctional facilities, prisons, jails) has become big news. The scale and cost of incarceration has seen attention drawn to its effectiveness in delivering intended outcomes, with architecture and design recently coming under considerable media scrutiny. Whilst drawing attention to the structural violence of the carceral state, and arguing for decarceration, academic researchers are, in parallel, turning their attention to the effects of architectural and design elements on those who live, work in, or visit these facilities.

In the past, custodial design has prioritised the designing-out of risk (of escape, and of violence against the self and others). Whilst these considerations remain critical, more recently the balance has swung towards more aspirational – and controversial – ideas that facilities could instead be rehabilitative, even therapeutic environments that foster wellbeing.

We may know more than ever before about how built environments influence wellbeing in general, but the question of what custodial facilities should be like remains a challenging one. Policymakers may be open to new design ideas, but in managing tight budgets, they often require a challenging level of evidential proof of effect before changes are made.

This call is therefore for proposals for chapters for a collection edited by Dominique Moran, Yvonne Jewkes, Kwan-Lamar Blount-Hill and Victor St.John, asking ‘what works?’ in custodial design to deliver a rehabilitative, therapeutic environment, or other ‘positive’ outcomes?

The call is addressed to researchers in all disciplines, working in all geographical contexts, whose work addresses one or more of the following questions, whether in relation to the custodial environment as a whole, or to elements of it:

  1. How can we characterise or categorise custodial buildings/environments? How can we describe them in ways that enable us to determine the effects of their characteristics?
  2. How can we characterise the intended outcomes of custodial design? Should design prioritise, for example, ‘humanisation’, ‘normalisation’, or ‘wellbeing’, and how do we recognise and evaluate these in practice? What other ‘positive’ or desirable outcomes might custodial design encourage (for example, recovery, rehabilitation, aspiration, future orientation, aesthetic appreciation)?
  3. How – i.e. through what causal mechanisms – do we think that these characteristics of the built environment ‘work’ in the sense of being experienced by people who are incarcerated, and by the staff who work in custodial facilities, either in the ways in which the planners and designers intended, or in unanticipated ways?
  4. How can we establish whether or that these characteristics have an effect? What data and what methodologies are required to determine causality between built environments and measurable outcomes?
  5. What has been proven to ‘work’ in custodial design, in terms of characteristics of the built environment, and the ways in which it fosters wellbeing or other therapeutic outcomes?

In parallel with this edited collection, an interdisciplinary workshop will be held at the University of Birmingham, UK in 2020, to enable contributors to present and discuss their work around these questions. The workshop will also be an opportunity to explore opportunities for future interdisciplinary collaboration.

Researchers are invited to send 500-word chapter abstracts to by Monday 18th November. Pre-submission enquiries are also very welcome.

CFP AAG 2020 Food and Carceral Intersections: From geographies of confinement to enactments of abolition

Call for Papers: American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting | April 6-10, 2020 | Denver, CO USA

Paper Session: Food and Carceral Intersections: From Geographies of Confinement to Enactments of Abolition

Organizers: Joshua Sbicca (Colorado State University) and Becca Clark-Hargreaves (Colorado State University)

Session Description: How might we better understand food systems by attending to the penal system and vice versa? Carceral spaces – such as neighborhood zones of police surveillance and plantation prisons that exploit confined labor – reflect and reproduce systems of oppression also present in the food system (Gilmore 2007). In cities, the state regularly polices poverty instead of addressing the institutional racism and capitalist urbanization that perpetuates the lack of access to goods like healthy food (Wacquant 2009; Camp 2016). Additionally, the food system relies on carceral practices to secure disciplined labor by weaponizing the possibility of deportation for racialized undocumented workers and wielding the threat of violence to keep workers in the fields (Mitchell 1996; Horton 2016). And of course, there is slow death tied to low-quality food in prisons, prison food and agriculture industries, force feeding of prisoners, and the use of food (or its denial) as punishment (Camplin 2016; Smoyer 2019).

But there are also seeds of struggle for the abolition of penal logics and institutions that maintain the violence of the ongoing practices and legacies of colonialism, white supremacy, and institutional racism vis-à-vis food (Heynen 2016; Murguía 2018; Pellow 2018). Hunger strikes and food riots have long been used as a tool to gain the sympathy of the public, shame political opponents, and gain concessions from the state and penal officials (Scanlan et al. 2008; McGregor 2011; Bargu 2014). Food is also a site for resistance in prison, whether to celebrate cultural foodways or assert a sense of self and autonomy (Ugelvik 2011; Gibson-Light 2018). Food and environmental justice activists have also sought to intervene in mass incarceration and the prison pipeline with campaigns and initiatives that support prisoners and formerly incarcerated people (Sbicca 2016; Nocella, Ducre, and Lupinacci 2016).

This session seeks to critically explore these and other intersections between food and carceral systems, politics, ideologies, spatialities, and social movements. We are especially interested in papers working through food and carceral politics through the lens of racial capitalism, racial neoliberalism, Plantationocene and plantation ecologies, abolition ecologies, masculinities and femininities, restorative justice, environmental justice, food justice, and food sovereignty.  

Some possible orienting topics include:

  • Farming, gardening, and horticulture programs in prison
  • Prison food industries
  • Social, cultural, and spatial dimensions of prison food
  • Plantation and carceral logics and the food system
  • Prison food riots and hunger strikes
  • Prison abolition and reform efforts that engage with food politics
  • Conversion of farmland into prisons and jails
  • Impacts of toxic prisons and jails on agriculture
  • Food and environmental justice activism with prisoners and formerly incarcerated people
  • Social movement alliances between food and prison abolition/reform activists  

Please send paper titles and abstracts (250 words maximum) and your personal identification number (received from the AAG after registering online at to Joshua Sbicca, Colorado State University ( Please send by October 21.


Bargu, Banu. 2014. Starve and Immolate: The Politics of Human Weapons. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

Camp, J. T. 2016. Incarcerating the Crisis: Freedom Struggles and the Rise of the Neoliberal State. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Camplin, E., 2016. Prison Food in America. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Gilmore, R. W. 2007. Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Heynen, N., 2016. Urban political ecology II: The abolitionist century. Progress in Human Geography, 40(6), 839-845.

Horton, S.B., 2016. They Leave Their Kidneys in the Fields: Illness, Injury, and Illegality Among US Farmworkers. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

McGregor, J., 2011. Contestations and consequences of deportability: hunger strikes and the political agency of non-citizens. Citizenship Studies, 15(5): 597-611.

Mitchell, D., 1996. The Lie of the Land: Migrant Workers and the California Landscape. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Murguía, S.J., 2018. Food as a Mechanism of Control and Resistance in Jails and Prisons: Diets of Disrepute. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Nocella II, A.J., Ducre, K.A. and Lupinacci, J. eds., 2016. Addressing Environmental and Food Justice Toward Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Poisoning and Imprisoning Youth. New York, NY: Springer.

Pellow, D.N., 2018. “Political Prisoners and Environmental Justice.” Capitalism, Nature, Socialism. 29(4), 1-20.

Sbicca, J., 2016. These bars can’t hold us back: Plowing incarcerated geographies with restorative food justice. Antipode, 48(5), 1359-1379.

Scanlan, S.J., Cooper Stoll, L. and Lumm, K., 2008. Starving for change: The hunger strike and nonviolent action, 1906–2004. In Research in social movements, conflicts and change (275-323). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Smoyer, A.B., 2019. Food in correctional facilities: A scoping review. Appetite. 141(1).

Ugelvik, T., 2011. The hidden food: Mealtime resistance and identity work in a Norwegian prison. Punishment & Society, 13(1), 47-63.

Wacquant, L. 2009. Punishing the Poor: The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

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

Interface to place

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

Bars and MossIs 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

CFP: Territories of incarceration: The project of modern carceral institutions as an act of rural colonisation – session at the European Architectural History Conference, Edinburgh UK, 10-13 June 2020

European Architectural History Network Edinburgh 2020 Conference logoSabrina Puddu and Francesco Zuddas will be chairing a session at the 2020 EAHN Conference. The conference, organised by the European Architectural History Network, will take place in June 2020 in Edinburgh. The call for contributions is now open and abstracts must be submitted by 20th September 2019.

Their session will seek contributions on the topic ‘Territories of incarceration: The project of modern carceral institutions as an act of rural colonisation’.

Full text of call (

It can be argued that the modern prison is the locus where architecture tested its own entry into modernity. Through two fundamental archetypal diagrams – Carlo Fontana’s House of Correction in Rome (1704) and the Bentham brothers’s Penitentiary Panopticon (circa 1790) – the prison emerged as the paradigm of architecture’s ambition at shaping and directing human behaviour and relationships, which ultimately found synthesis in the modern model prison of Pentonville (London, 1840).

Scholarship on the architecture of incarceration has mostly focused its attention on urban compact prisons, of which Pentonville stands as the prototype. Robin Evans’s seminal study of modern reformism in British prisons (The Fabrication of Virtue, 1982) provided a detailed enquiry into the empowerment that architecture received by addressing the project of detention. Evans’ work sits alongside its contemporary and more celebrated companion, namely Michel Foucault’s Surveiller et punir (1975). Interestingly, the key to understand the argument of the two books seems to lay not as much in the analysis of detention inside urban compact prisons, but in what the two authors took as the ending point of their historical narratives: the opening of the Colonie Agricole at Mettray in France, which happened almost concomitantly to that of Pentonville, showing how the architectural codification of the carceral happened as much in the urban walled-prison as in a less restrictive parallel institution where the rational precision proper of the design of a prison was loosened (hence Foucault’s definition of ‘prisons boiteuse’ – limping prisons). The colony of Mettray served as the archetype for this new para-carceral type (the penal colony) that balanced its apparent uncertainty and benevolence by extending its scope of action towards vast territories and acting as an agent of rural colonisation that participated in the geopolitical project of the modern national states.

This session aims to collect insights into the architectural history of the modern penal colony intended as a specific declination of carceral institution that, besides the immediate role of confining, reforming, and punishing criminals, also took on an objective as an agent of territorial transformation and domestication of vast rural domains. Particular attention will be given to papers addressing the European territory and the role played by penal colonies in the processes of internal colonisation, as opposed to more usual explorations of imperial forms of colonisation. Shifting from the architectural to the territorial scale and covering a time-span from the mid-19th c. up to the WW2, contributions are sought that explore cases in which the project of penal colonies intersected with and facilitated the birth and acceptance of a new modern rural order across the European continent.

This session will be related to a monographic issue on penal colonies and the project of modern rural landscapes that is being discussed with the editors of the Journal of Architecture, for publication in 2020.

Sabrina Puddu, Royal College of Arts
Francesco Zuddas, Anglia Ruskin University

Contact : Sabrina Puddu,
Email :


4th International Conference for Carceral Geography to be hosted in Brussels by the NICC!

The Committee of the Carceral Geography Working Group of the RGS-IBG is delighted to announce that the 4th International Conference for Carceral BrusselsGeography will take place in December 2020, in Brussels, Belgium. Hosted by the NICC (Nationaal Instituut voor Criminalistiek en Criminologie/Institut National de Criminalistique et de Criminologie), this will be the first conference in this series to be held outside of the UK. Provisional dates are 14-15 December 2020.Logo NICC-CMYK

Organised by Christophe MinckeOlivier Milhaud (Sorbonne U., Paris), Anouk Mertens, Dani Brutyn and Maria Larrañaga, and with a provisional theme of “Defining the carceral through space and movement” the 4th conference will be free to attend.

Watch this space for more information about the conference theme, keynote speaker, and in due course, a call for papers!