New book – Historical Geographies of Prisons: Unlocking the Usable Carceral Past

HGPUUCPKaren Morin and I are delighted to announce that the new edited collection Historical Geographies of Prisons: Unlocking the Usable Carceral Past will shortly be published by Routledge.

Conceived of following Karen’s Distinguished Historical Geography lecture at the 2013 Los Angeles meeting of the Association of American Geographers, the book draws in part on papers presented in the subsequent sessions on carceral historical geographies at the Tampa AAG in 2014.

This is the first book to provide a comprehensive historical-geographical lens to the development and evolution of correctional institutions as a specific subset of carceral geographies. It analyzes and critiques global practices of incarceration, regimes of punishment, and their corresponding spaces of “corrections” from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries. It examines individuals’ experiences within various regulatory regimes and spaces of punishment, and offers an interpretation of spaces of incarceration as cultural-historical artifacts. The book also analyzes the spatial-distributional geographies of incarceration, particularly with respect to their historical impact on community political-economic development and local geographies. Contributions examine a range of prison sites and the practices that take place within them to help us understand how regimes of punishment are experienced, and are constructed in different kinds of ways across space and time for very different ends. The overall aim is to help understand the legacies of carceral geographies in the present. The resonances across space and time tell a profound story of social and spatial legacies and, as such, offer important insights into the prison crisis we see in many parts of the world today.

The book will be officially launched at the 16th International Conference of Historical Geographers which will take place in London, at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) from Sunday 5th July to Friday 10th July 2015. A special panel has been convened for Thursday 9th July 2015, 14:15 – 16:00. Chapter contributors Rashad Shabazz, Kimberley Peters and Katherine Roscoe will join the book’s editors, and also Simon Naylor and Laura Cameron, the editors of the Routledge Research Series in Historical Geography, for which this is the first publication.

The book’s contents are as follows:

1 Introduction: historical geographies of prisons: unlocking the usable carceral past (Karen M. Morin and Dominique Moran)

PART I On the inside: carceral techniques in historical context

2 Carceral acoustemologies: historical geographies of sound in a Canadian prison (Katie Hemsworth)

3 The prison inside: a genealogy of solitary confinement as counter-resistance (Brett Story)

4 ‘Sores in the city’: a genealogy of the Almighty Black P. Stone Rangers (Rashad Shabazz)

PART II Prisons as artifacts in historical-cultural transition

5 Doing time-travel: performing past and present at the prison museum (Jennifer Turner and Kimberley Peters)

6 Carceral retasking and the work of historical societies at decommissioned lock-ups, jails, and prisons in Ontario (Kevin Walby and Justin Piché)

7 Prisoners in Zion: Shaker sites as foundations for later communities of incarceration (Carol Medlicott)

8 Cartographies of affects: undoing the prison in collective art by women prisoners (Susana Draper)

PART III Carceral topographies: the political economy of prison industrial growth and change

9 Locating penal transportation: punishment, space, and place c.1750 to 1900 (Clare Anderson, Carrie M. Crockett, Christian G. De Vito, Takashi Miyamoto, Kellie Moss, Katherine Roscoe, Minako Sakata)

10 Little Siberia, star of the North: the political economy of prison dreams in the Adirondacks (Jack Norton)

11 From prisons to hyperpolicing: neoliberalism, carcerality, and regulative geographies (Brian Jordan Jefferson)

12 From private to public: examining the political economy of Wisconsin’s private prison experiment (Anne Bonds)

13 Afterword (Dominique Moran)

Research Fellow position on ESRC project

University of Birmingham

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences 8-2754esrc-logo

Research Fellow in Prison Visitation and Reoffending

Salary from £27,578 to £38,140 a year

We are looking to recruit a post-doctoral researcher to work on a cutting-edge ESRC-funded Project, Breaking the Cycle? Prison Visitation and Recidivism in the UK. This project seeks to enhance understanding of the relationship between prison visitation and reoffending in the UK, to explore the experience of prison visitation for prisoners, visitors and prison personnel, providing a new perspective on visitation, and paying particular attention to its socio-spatial context. The 2.5 year post facilitates work across the academic disciplines of geography, psychology and criminology, and the post holder will work closely with key stakeholders to integrate findings into policy development, with a view to increasing the effectiveness of visitation in assisting positive post-release outcomes. HMP Hewell will be the primary case study and the researcher will be based at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, at the University of Birmingham, also working closely with the School of Psychology.

We are looking for a person with excellent qualitative research skills; preference will be given to candidates with experience of qualitative or ethnographic research within prisons, with prisoners, their friends and families, and with prison personnel. The successful candidate will also be required to undertake some quantitative research, with guidance from the investigators and project partners, and will have the opportunity to undertake training in psychological research methods as appropriate. A PhD or equivalent is essential, with candidates from criminology, geography, psychology, and social science backgrounds being considered. In addition to collecting data, the post holder will be expected to play a substantial role in determining the priorities for research, data analysis, writing and presenting findings.

For more information, please contact Dominique Moran d.moran@bham.ac.uk