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)

Forthcoming book: Historical Geographies of Prisons: Unlocking the Usable Carceral Past

Karen Morin and I are excited to announce that our new edited volume is forthcoming with Routledge, in their new Historical Geography series. This book, Historical Geographies of Prisons: Unlocking the Usable Carceral Past, arises from conversations between Karen and I over the past couple of years, and builds both on her Distinguished Historical Geographer Plenary Lecture: Carceral Space and the Usable Past (published here in the Journal of Historical Geography) and on themed sessions we organised at the AAG conference in Tampa earlier this year.

The book, which Routledge intend to launch at the International Conference of Historical Geographers in London in July 2015, analyzes and critiques practices of incarceration, regimes of punishment, and their corresponding spaces of “corrections” from the eighteenth through twentieth centuries in sites spanning the U.S., Canada, Asia, and Latin America. It will be the first volume of its kind to use an explicitly historical-geographical lens to study the development and evolution of prisons. Contributors to the volume collectively argue that an historical geographical approach to studying corrections can improve our understanding of the prison crisis that we see in many parts of the world today (most notably the U.S.), but in order to do so, argue that we must first pragmatically distinguish a “usable” historical geography of the carceral past.

We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring together a volume of original papers, expansive in geographical and historical reach. Our authors range from senior established professors to emerging junior scholars. Contributors to the volume include self-identifying historical geographers as well as experts in carceral pasts who follow historical geography logics and methodologies. We are excited to work with these colleagues, and to bring their work to a diverse audience.

We plan a session at the ICHG in 2015 around the book itself, the themes that it addresses, and the wider context within which it sits – watch this space for more details!

 

Carceral Geography at the AAG 2014: Historical Geographies of Prisons and Jails… and more

logo_aagKaren Morin and I have coorganised two themed sessions at the forthcoming Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers in April, in Tampa, FL, USA. Entitled “Historical Geographies of Prisons and Jails I & II”, the two sessions address the following brief:

What have historical geographers contributed to discussions of incarceration – what prison spaces, knowledges, and practices have caught our attention, and why? Following on last year’s AAG Historical Geography plenary, “Carceral Space and the Usable Past,” these sessions bring together the work of historical geographers, as well as those who use historical-geographical logics and perspectives, to examine conceptions of crime, regimes of punishment, and their corresponding spaces of “corrections” and confinement. Broadly, the sessions aim to incorporate a historical-spatial focus into the study of correctional institutions (prisons and jails) and their larger social contexts. Relevant treatments of prison/jail space include: 1) historical study of the nature of spaces of incarceration, individuals’ experiences in them, and their regulatory regimes and systems of punishment; 2) historical study of the spatial or distributional/ locational geographies of carceral systems, particularly with respect to their impact on community economic development and local geographies; and 3) study of the historical relationship between the carceral and an increasingly punitive state. Historical geographers can inform, and be informed by, these three areas of carceral geography that we like to term, after Tosh, “critical applied historical geography” that can be put in action for progressive social transformation.

The first session, scheduled for Wednesday, 4/9/2014, from 8:00 AM – 9:40 AM in Room 30B, TCC, Fourth Floor, lines up as follows:

8:00 AM   *Kimberley Peters and Jennifer Turner – Aberystwyth University Unlocking the Carceral Atmospheric: Extraordinary Encounters at the Prison Museum

8:20 AM   Susana Draper – Princeton University Cartographies of memory and the poetics of an architecture of the affects

8:40 AM   Katie Hemsworth – Queen’s University Sound(e)scapes: Historical geographies of sound in Canadian prisons

9:00 AM   Cheryl Nye – Georgia State University The Sacred and Profane: Re-building Familial and Social Relationships in the Confines of the Prison

9:20 AM   Dominique Moran – University of Birmingham (Discussant)

and the second, following immediately on at 10:00 AM – 11:40 AM in Room 30B, TCC, Fourth Floor, looks like this:

10:00 AM   *Jennifer Turner and Kimberley Peters – Aberystwyth University Shackled at Sea: Geographies of Mobility and Agency on the Convict Ship

10:20 AM    Jack Norton – CUNY Graduate Center  Little Siberia, Star of the North: The Political Economy of Prison Dreams in the Adirondacks

10:40 AM   Carol Medlicott – Northern Kentucky University  Prisoners in Zion: Shaker Sites as Foundations for Later Communities of Incarceration

11:00 AM   Treva C. Ellison – University of Southern California  The End(s) of Inclusion: The Impact of LGBT Activism and Advocacy on Sensitivity Policing and Gender and Sexuality Responsive Jailing, 1970 – 1997

11:20 AM   Anne Bonds – University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (Discussant)

Karen and I are excited about these sessions and about the dialogues we hope they will engender.

However, for carceral geographers there are many more papers of interest in Tampa. I’m also looking forward to Anthony Stanonis’ paper on Gated Communities: Tourism and Prisons in the American South, Alex R. Colucci’s The Geographies of Death Row: Capital Punishment and Living-Dead Labor within Capitalism, Timothy C. Kelleher on Optimality Modeling New Prison Siting, Richard Merritt and Scott Hurley’s Invisible Geographies: Violence and Oppression in the Prison-Industrial Complex and Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, and Anne Bonds’  Enduring Incarceration: Gender, Racial Capitalism, and ‘Prison life’

And, from a grey Birmingham, here’s hoping for some Florida sunshine…