Monthly Archives: September 2015

Call for Papers AAG 2016 – Carceral Geography: Conceptualising the Carceral

Call for Papers AAG 2016 San Francisco, CA

Carceral Geography: Conceptualising the Carceral

Dominique Moran (University of Birmingham) and Jennifer Turner (University of Leicester)

The ‘carceral’ exists both within and separate from the physical spaces of incarceration; it aligns with the conceptual framework of the ‘carceral turn’ as addressing ‘human experiences and social practices that involve systems of confinement [which] differ from those that a sociology of punishment can or perhaps should address’ (Brown 2014, 178). In this way, carceral geography contributes to an understanding of the carceral which ‘complicates and exceeds categories of criminality, penality and victimhood’ (ibid).

Carceral geography has already concerned itself with (experiences of) spaces of confinement very broadly conceived and operating at every scale from the global to the personal, and in this CFP we wish to explore the potential diversity of research in this arena. Although ‘incarceration’ has conventionally come to refer to the legal confinement of sentenced offenders under the jurisdiction of the state, by contrast the ‘carceral’ embraces the myriad ways in which persons could be, and indeed are, confined by other means; or indeed the means by which they could confine themselves. Whilst appreciating that such circumstances differ dramatically from each other, taking this more wide-ranging approach enables geography to interpret the ‘carceral’ as far exceeding imprisonment. Whilst including the conventional, state-sanctioned spaces of incarceration which hold sentenced prisoners, it also encompasses the spaces of detention of refugees, noncitizens, asylum seekers, the trafficked and the renditioned, as well as ‘forms of confinement that burst internment structures and deliver carceral effects without physical immobilization’ (Moran et al 2013, 240).

In this CFP we invite submissions whose intention is to move towards a conceptualisation of the carceral which exceeds conventional incarceration; considering the reach of the ‘carceral’ beyond spaces, practices and institutions of imprisonment.

Papers could consider topics including, but not limited to:

  • theorisations of the carceral
  • unlawful imprisonment, kidnap, abduction, curfew, grounding
  • electronic monitoring, surveillance and securitized public spaces
  • personal and nuanced forms of confinement
  • mobile notions of the carceral inscribed upon the individual
  • embodied stigma and corporeal practices which recall previous (conventional) incarceration

Submissions:

Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words by email to Jennifer Turner (jt264@le.ac.uk) and Dominique Moran (d.moran@bham.ac.uk) by Friday 9th October 2015.

Successful submissions will be contacted by 15th October 2015 and will be expected to register and submit their abstracts online at the AAG website by October 29th 2015 ahead of a session proposal deadline of 18th November 2015. Please note a range of registration fees will apply and must be paid before the formal submission of abstracts to AAG.

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New paper… Unlocking carceral atmospheres: designing visual/material encounters at the prison museum

I’m pleased to announce the publication of a new paper in the Designing Atmospheres Special issue of Visual Communication, co-authored with Dr Kimberley Peters (Aberystwyth University).

Unlocking carceral atmospheres: designing visual/material encounters at the prison museum

Using a variety of devices from visual displays, material objects, sensory engagements and embodied performance, museums select and narrate particular moments in history to an increasingly active audience. Thus far, focus on specific elements of museum design has eluded the altogether more pervasive, intangible and complex sensations designed, engineered, co-constituted and also arising unexpectedly from these sites: atmospheres. This article draws upon a particular museum experience – that of the prison museum – to interrogate how atmospheres are a key component of re-telling the past. Here, the authors explore the production and consumption of what they term ‘carceral atmospheres’. Focusing on two prison museums, the article explores how visitors unlock experiences of incarceration via the variety of atmospheric sensations calculated and provoked in these museum settings through visual/material manifestations and cues. The authors conclude that understanding atmospheric design is vital to gaining a deeper appreciation of how heritage sites function in the 21st century. Download a copy of the paper here.

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