The Carceral Geography Working Group (CGWG) of the RGS-IBG welcomes paper abstracts for the 4th International Conference for Carceral Geography.
The 4th International Conference for Carceral Geography will take place 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 Carceral Geography Conference to be held outside of the UK.
At the moment, we expect the conference to take place on 14th and 15th December 2020. However, given the current circumstances and the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we are considering other possibilities should these prove necessary. We are monitoring the situation closely and will communicate possible changes in a timely manner.
Call for papers – Defining the carceral through spaces and movements
Over the last years, a research area has gained growing attention: carceral geography. On the one hand, as a radically interdisciplinary field, it has mainly grown from an interest by geographers in the prison and, more broadly, in carceral phenomena (such as retention camps, penal limitation of mobility outside of prison, deprivation of liberty in psychiatric institutions, and so on). On the other hand it has been further developed by criminology’s new look at a classical object, through a particular attention to questions of space. This current research field leads to the exploration of basic questions, such as the definition of prison (Milhaud 2009; Turner 2016) and its place in the public space (Milhaud and Morelle 2006), specificities of its space compared to other confinement areas (Altin and Minca 2017), the role of space and its arrangement in the experience of incarceration (Scheer 2016), management of transfers between prison facilities and mobility (Moran, Gill, and Conlon 2013; Turner and Peters 2017; Gill et al. 2016), the use of mobility to manage and legitimate prison (Mincke 2017; Gill 2013), etc.
One of the main challenges for carceral geography scholars is to characterise carceral spaces and the movements within. Although a lot of reflections have been published, it seems there remains a need for a dialogue around this specific question. Therefore, the next Carceral Geography Conference will be centred on combining spaces and movements, as key elements of the definition of the carceral.
The first purpose of this conference is to challenge researchers to reflect on their use of spaces and movements to define the carceral institutions or practices they are studying. Key questions might be: In which way are spaces and movements intertwined? Are they essential or might the carceral be defined beyond spatiality and mobility?
The second purpose is to explore the concrete characteristics of carceral spaces and mobilities. The spaces can be conceived in terms of openness, continuity, compartmentalisation, porosity, hierarchy, etc. The movements could be legal or illegal, constant or rare, promoted or hampered, and might be related to persons, information, ideas, diseases, goods and services, etc. Furthermore, the importance of movement in power relationships, in the perceptions of spaces and, among others, in the legitimation discourses of carceral settings should be discussed. Perspectives that include both spatiality and mobility are strongly recommended.
The third purpose of this conference is to embed these visions of carceral spaces and mobilities into typologies: is there something like a typical carceral space or (im)mobility, are carceral spaces and mobilities multiple and protean, or could the carceral cope with any type of space and mobility?
The fourth purpose underlies the others and encourages the researchers to explore epistemologies or methodologies supporting the definition and understanding of carceral spaces and mobilities. In order to motivate carceral geography in defining its objects and its relationships to them, theoretical presentations are highly welcomed.
The conference is meant to be a meeting point for various disciplines and a place where interdisciplinary approaches can be presented. Geography, criminology, sociology, anthropology, political science, history, and many other disciplines are welcomed. Empirical and theoretical contributions as well as conceptual refinements of this young research domain are encouraged. Priority will be given to contributions combining the different angles of this call.
For any queries about the application process, the upcoming conference, or any other aspect of this Call, please email the Organising Committee via Crimino@just.fgov.be.
We look forward to welcoming you to the 4th Carceral Geography Conference!