Carceral geography is a growing sub-discipline within human geography, and those listed here are some of the researchers working in this area, who have previously joined an informal research network in this area.
With the launch of the Carceral Geography Working Group (CGWG) of the RGS-IBG, this page will shortly be redesigned to enable CGWG membership – but for now, for any further information, please click on Contact.
Anne BONDS Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, US. Research interests in gendered and racialized poverty and privilege, incarceration, and the politics of economic development. Her work is especially concerned with the material and discursive construction of the ‘undeserving poor’, particularly through the dynamics of mass incarceration, community development agendas, and affordable housing issues. Her current research projects focus on prison-led economic development strategies and geographies of incarceration in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Andrew BURRIDGE Research Associate, University of Exeter. He has conducted extensive research in the Mexico-U.S. borderlands, concerned specifically with impacts of border securitization practices upon undocumented migrants and local communities, as well as the criminalization and policing of migrant rights movements, (including research for his PhD, USC 2009). His current research focuses on the effects of border management and securitization upon the fundamental rights of migrants. He is a co-editor of Beyond Walls and Cages: Prisons, Borders, and Global Crisis (UGA Press, December 2012).
Deirdre CONLON is Lecturer in critical human geography at the University of Leeds, UK. Her work engages the tensions around migration and policies and practices designed to manage immigration. This includes a focus on immigration detention, border enforcement, and local, everyday enforcement practices where carceral spaces proliferate; critical engagement with legal and governmental frameworks that gird citizenship and immigration; and examination of the everyday material and social consequences of ‘fortessing’ and ‘securitization’ as well as activism and advocacy aimed at contesting the inequalities and injustices that coincide with these policies and practices. Deirdre is a collaborator in the Asylum-Network research group.
Julie DE DARDELPhD candidate and researcher, Geography Institute of the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland. Research interests include social and cultural geography, imprisonment, international mobility of penal policies, social movements and gender studies.
Elaine ENRIQUEZ is a PhD candidate in Sociology at Princeton University (USA). Her work includes the use of the institution of incarceration as a research site to examine identity and social and moral order. Her research demonstrates the ways people use capital, networks, and exchange to create and recreate meaning and order in their lives, particularly as they experience a struggle to maintain identity in degrading and dehumanizing environments. She also examine institutions of development, investigating how we can compare nations with respect to their ability to provide inclusive, transformative opportunities for improvement to their people. Her research tackles fundamental questions of theory and measurement, bringing together academic and practitioner bodies of knowledge and research.
James GACEK is currently a PhD candidate in Criminology at Edinburgh Law School, University of Edinburgh. His PhD project focuses on the electronic monitoring (EM) of offenders and the ways in which aspects of carcerality exist beyond the prison, arguing that EM, as a community sanction imposed by the state and justice system, should be considered a form of ‘carceral territory’ within the offender’s community. He has lectured in criminology and criminal justice at the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg. He continues to publish in the areas of incarceration, genocidal carcerality, green criminology and the sociology of police powers, critical issues in media studies, the socio-legal regulation of obscenity and indecency, and the broader politics of judicial reasoning. Gacek is an American Sociological Association Paper Award winner (2014).
Nick GILL Professor of Human Geography, University of Exeter UK. Research interests in state theory and asylum migration. He has published widely in these areas and is presently working on a project that compares asylum advocacy in the United States and the UK.
Melanie GRIFFITHS PhD Researcher at the University of Oxford. Research examines the relationships between various British state-representatives and (failed) asylum seekers in Oxford or incarcerated in immigration detention. Drawing on substantial qualitative fieldwork with these groups, she considers the role of state identification in deciding asylum claims and managing those refused protection. Melanie argues that a bureaucratic conflation of protection with identification places the failed claimants in an administratively ambiguous position and renders them vulnerable to exceptional treatment, such as indefinite detention.
Alex HALL Lecturer in Politics, Department of Politics, University of York, UK. Research interests include international security and mobility, contemporary border politics and immigration detention. Alex has conducted research into the everyday production and experience of security within immigration detention, and she is currently working on a project about discretion and data in border security decisions.
Agatha HERMAN Lecturer in Human Geography, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Plymouth University UK. Research interests include issues of equality and social justice with a particular focus on ethical geographies. Currently interested in how discourses of empowerment are deployed within British institutional settings, particularly in how these can contribute to sustainable re-integration for former offenders and ex-military personnel.
Nancy HIEMSTRA Assistant Professor in the Department of Cultural Analysis and Theory at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, New York. Her research interests focus on human mobility, migration policy-making, and ‘homeland security’ at the scales of home and community. Previous research examined Latino immigration to new U.S. destinations. Current research focuses on impacts in Ecuador of migration to the U.S., as well as migrant detention and deportation policies and practices in the U.S. She has published articles in Antipode, Gender, Place, and Culture, Geopolitics, and Social and Cultural Geography, and has contributed chapters to numerous edited volumes.
Amanda CRAWLEY JACKSON’s research explores the representation of prisons and other carceral spaces in literature and contemporary art from France and the Maghreb. She has published on French prison narratives and border zones in the work of Algerian and Moroccan artists. She also teaches an undergraduate module – Narratives of Confinement – which explores the spaces and spatialities of incarceration in French literature, film and photography.
Victoria KNIGHT is a Senior Research Fellow at De Montfort University in Leicester, UK. She is interested in and researches aspects of the sociology of imprisonment. Her doctoral thesis explored the role of television in prison. She is currently transforming this body of work into a book entitled Remote Control: TV in Prison (forthcoming). Since completing this work she has begun to develop a focus on emotion in prison with a particular focus on the prison cell. She has already published a paper which discusses the ways in which prisoners share the prison cell. As a result her interest in carceral geography has been amplified and is looking to develop collaborative projects with geographers which focus on the emotive dimensions of the prison cell. Knight is a qualitative researcher and employs innovative methods in her research design. She has conducted a number of studies with offenders both in custodial and community settings. Knight is also the convenor of the Emotion and Criminal Justice Cluster at De Montfort University.
Matthew LOWEN is a PhD student at the School of Geography and Development, The University of Arizona, US. Matthew’s research interests are centred in geographies of imprisonment and social control (prisons, surveillance, (im)mobility), how public discourses impact our notions of criminality (in the news media, popular culture, public policy), and the spatial practices of incarceration (solitary confinement most specifically). He also works for a prisoner rights advocacy organization that focuses on issues of solitary confinement, changing Arizona’s sentencing laws, fighting prison expansion, and advocating for the rights of incarcerated persons.
Jenna M LOYD Writer and researcher based in Syracuse, NY, US. She has held postdoctoral positions with the Island Detention project in the Department of Geography at Syracuse University, the Center for Place, Culture and Politics at the CUNY Graduate Center, and in the Humanities Center at Syracuse University. Her recent political and scholarly work focuses on the criminalization and militarization of migration. She is co-editor of Beyond Walls and Cages: Prisons, Borders, and Global Crisis, which connects the dots between imprisonment and bordering, and ties together prison abolition, no borders, and decolonial theory and practice. She and Alison Mountz are working on a manuscript entitled Crisis & Contingency, which tells the late Cold War history of the US immigrant detention system.
Alberto P. MARTÍ is a PhD student at the Centre for Research on Cuba (University of Nottingham). He graduated with a BSc Archaeology at the University of Leicester in 2011 and obtained a MA in Contemporary History at the University of Valencia in 2012. His doctoral project, entitled An archaeology of counter-insurgency: exploring the materiality and memory of Cuban reconcentration camps (1895-1898) is focused on the physical and spatial dimensions of the indiscriminate confinement of non-combatant population undertaken by the Spanish colonial authorities during the Cuban War for Independence, a military and political strategy that has been replicated in many other contexts over the 20th century. See his research website here.
Lauren L MARTIN is an Assistant Professor in Human Geography at Durham University. Her current research focuses on the carceral economies of immigration control and asylum reception, building on previous projects on the privatisation of border enforcement, legal geographies of detention visitation, and the intimate geopolitics of family detention in the US.
Mason McWATTERS PhD Student in Geography at the University of Texas at Austin, USA. His dissertation research explores (co)existential crises of worldhood that arise in experiences of agoraphobia. In general he is interested in exploring phenomenologies of being-in-the-world according to what might be considered a hybrid materialist-humanist perspective.
Bénédicte MICHALON is a Researcher at CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) at Pessac, France. Her current research focuses on interactions between mobility and international borders, specifically between Romania and the Republic of Moldova, and focuses on the reconstitution of borders in the Eastern enlargement of the European Union, and increased flows of transit and immigration in post-communist countries. She is also working on the role of international migration trends in agricultural areas of southern France.
Christophe MINCKE Sociologist, Director of the criminology department at the (Belgian) Institute for forensic sciences and criminology (NICC), Professor at Facultés Universitaires Saint-Louis, Bruxelles, Belgium. Has developed the concept of “mobilitarian ideology” to analyse the contemporary relation to mobility of Western societies. Through four imperatives (activity, activation, participation, adaptation), social actors are demanded to constantly move in a decompartmentalised space. Tracks traces of this ideology in the field of imprisonment justification, using empirical material from parliamentary documents pertaining to the new Belgian penitentiary law to show how imprisonment is conceived, nowadays, as a mobility challenge.
Matthew MITCHELSON Assistant Professor of Geography, Kennesaw State University, USA. An economic geographer who studies imprisonment in the United States. His research and teaching interests generally include urban-economic geography, political geography, and GIS. He is particularly interested in multi- and mixed-method research and theories of political economy. His current research includes: a quantitative, cartographic spatial analysis of Georgia prisoners’ homes and the prisons in which they were held; a qualitative study of the ‘migrations’ experienced during imprisonment; and a critical discourse analysis of prison privatization debates.
Dominique MORAN Reader in Carceral Geography in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham, UK. Her work is transdisciplinary, informed by and extending theoretical developments in geography, criminology and prison sociology, but also interfacing with contemporary debates over hyperincarceration, recidivism and the advance of the punitive state.
Marie MORELLE Senior Lecturer, Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, France. Research interests, in the context of Africa, include; Prison : power apparatus and appropriation of carceral spaces, prison in the city, representations of the prison, access to justice; Production of urban security, police practices, informal practices for security.
Richard NISA PhD Candidate and Assistant Instructor in the Department of Geography at Rutgers University. His dissertation explores historical transformations in the spatiality of American military detention practice following the signing of the Geneva Conventions. He focuses on the ways in which techniques of anticipatory spatial control, computerized administration, and identity dominance have shaped the spatial limits of the war prison.
Tim PALACIO Doctoral candidate in the EdD in Educational Leadership and Management program at Drexel, Sacramento, US. Tim’s PhD study evaluates the impact of the Kairos Prison Ministry on the graduates of its programme so as to better understand its role as a part of the rehabilitation efforts at CSP Sacramento, and to examine its impact on the way inmates serve their time. He is interested in the impact of Kairos Prison Ministry on the prison environment.
Kimberley PETERS teaches Human Geography at the University of Liverpool. Her research analyses the governance of mobilities at sea. Most recently she has pursued this interest through interrogating the politics of mobilities aboard the prison ship (with Jennifer Turner) and via a study of the formulation and operation of maritime regulatory apparatus (funded by the Leverhulme Trust). Kimberley has published widely in this area and is the author and editor of 6 books including: Carceral Mobilities (Routledge, 2016); The Mobilities of Ships (Routledge, 2015); Rebel Radio (Palgrave, 2017) and the discipline-wide textbook Your Human Geography Dissertation (Sage, 2017).
James OLESON is an Associate Professor of Criminology in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Auckland. After serving as an enlisted machinist’s mate in the US Navy’s nuclear propulsion programme, he earned his BA in psychology and anthropology from St. Mary’s College of California (where he was elected as the 1994 class valedictorian), his MPhil and fast-track PhD in criminology from the University of Cambridge, and his JD from Boalt Hall at the University of California, Berkeley (where he co-founded the Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law and served as the 2000-2001 Editor-in-Chief of the California Law Review). Between 2001 and 2004, he taught criminology and sociology at Old Dominion University, in Norfolk, Virginia. In 2004, he was selected as one of the four U.S. Supreme Court Fellows for the 2004-05 year (and was later selected as that year’s Tom C. Clark Fellow). At the end of the fellowship year, he was appointed as Chief Counsel to the newly-formed Criminal Law Policy Staff for the United States Courts, working in the Office of Probation and Pretrial Services at the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. He served in that capacity between 2005 and 2010. Since arriving at the University of Auckland in 2010, he has taught about penology, psychological criminology, criminological theory, and state crime. His monograph on high-IQ crime, Criminal Genius: A Portrait of High-IQ Offenders, was published in September 2016 by the University of California Press. He is working on three new books: Fifty Years of Causes of Delinquency: The Criminology of Travis Hirschi (with Barbara Costello, forthcoming 2019 with Routledge, as part of the Advances in Criminological Theory series); The Prison in Popular Culture (forthcoming 2019 with the University of California Press); and Overcoming Crime Science: The Indomitable Resilience of Deviance (with Ronald Kramer, under review with the University of California Press).
Revd. Peter PHILLIPS PhD student at St Michael’s College Llandaff/Cardiff University UK, working on the role of prison chaplains ‘caught in no-man’s land’ as both agents of the prison establishment and/or as counter-agents within it. In so doing, he works with theories of liminality to explore participation in ritual-like activities, affiliation/disaffiliation, and the importance of prison chaplaincy in prison ethnography, focusing particularly on prison chapels and reception areas.
Jayne PRICE is a PhD student within the department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology at the University of Liverpool. Her research explores the ‘pathways and transitions between juvenile and adult penal institutions’. The research project is a CASE studentship funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and is in collaboration with Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons. Jayne’s primary research interests are criminal justice policy, juvenile secure estate, prisons, transitions, youth imprisonment and youth justice. In her spare time, Jayne also volunteers within her local Youth Offending Team as a panel member.
Adam RAMADAN Lecturer in Human Geography in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham, UK. Adam’s work crosses over political and cultural geography, and addresses the ‘everyday’ of geopolitics. He looks particularly at refugees and camps, and is writing a book on Palestinian refugee camps as political spaces, and their relationships with host states.
Menah RAVEN-ELLISON PhD Student, School of Geography, Queen Mary, University of London. Contributing to the emerging geographic research on detention, imprisonment, and confinement. Research draws simultaneously upon critical geographies of home, identity and belonging while speaking to health geographies literature.
Anna SCHLIEHE, PhD Student, School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Glasgow, UK. Anna’s dissertation explores socio-spatial features of different types of closed institutions (prison, secure care, closed psychiatry) for girls and young women. The geography of these three institutional systems of confinement works towards an understanding of the carceral experience as an age-related, gendered, embodied, emotional and often repetitive practice. Focusing on qualitative research inside and outside these institutions, this project aims to identify the young women’s institutional journeys and trajectories into the criminal justice system. The main part of her empirical research is conducted in Scotland while drawing comparative links to criminal justice systems of Germany and Norway.
Jennifer TURNER is a Post Doctoral Research Associate in the Department of Criminology at the University of Leicester on the ESRC-funded project entitled ‘Fear-suffused environments’ or potential to rehabilitate? Prison architecture, design and technology and the lived experience of carceral spaces” with Prof. Yvonne Jewkes and Dr. Dominique Moran (Birmingham). Jennifer’s research interests fit broadly at the intersection of cultural and political geography regarding how the contemporary penal system is integrated into British society. Her PhD channeled this interest by exploring the transactions between the ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ of the prison environment.
Patrick Brian SMITH is a Film and Moving Image Studies PhD student in the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University, Montreal. His research interests include experimental nonfiction cinema, the politics of space, Marxist geography, precarious labour, and the essay film. He is currently working on a thesis project titled ‘The Politics of Spatiality in Experimental Non-Fiction Cinema’ which maps out the presence of a spatio-political tendency within a diverse corpus of contemporary experimental nonfiction films.
Can YILDIZ studied Social Work at Ruskin College Oxford and qualified as a social worker in 2004, graduating with an MA in Migration, Mental Health and Social Care from University of Kent in 2009 and currently doing PhD in Urban Geography at Kings College London. The PhD research is on the experiences of Eastern European Roma women offenders and ex offenders within the Criminal Justice System in England, following previous research on foreign national women prisoners in a London prison.