CFP: AAG 2020 Carceral Seas

Carceral Seas: Containment, Contestation and Crime Offshore convened by Jennifer Turner and Kimberley Peters (University of Liverpool)

With recent, and also more longstanding, attention being drawn to both  environmental and socio-cultural and political crises (and so-called ‘crisis’) offshore (from threats to more-than-human ocean biodiversity  and the perils of plastics, to the devastating human dimensions of  oceanic migration and offshore detention) this session seeks to pay  attention to ‘Carceral Seas’ – interrogating the various carceral  characteristics and conditions of offshore worlds.

This session, building on a panel at the RGS-IBG Conference 2019, invites papers to continue exploring a myriad of issues that connect-up carcerality (broadly encapsulated by conditions of detriment, intent and spatiality [see Moran, Turner and Schliehe, 2017]) and the seas (also broadly understood as relational, three-dimensional, multi-state and  more-than-wet [see Peters and Steinberg 2019]).

We are  interested in papers that explore the politics of modes of containment  (of people, activities, sea-life, aquaculture) that occur at sea; the  contested/contestable nature of containment and of achieving justice at sea in the face of overlapping jurisdictions offshore; and the ways in which seas are spaces of crime (committed by people against human and  more-than-human life and environments, spanning across generations, times, spaces and spheres of land, sea and sky).

Papers in this session may examine, but are not limited to:

–  the contested politics of demarcating, bordering and ordering the seas  and oceans in ways that create carceral conditions/containment for those  using the seas (via modes of governance, planning or policy);

–  the materiality of seas and oceans themselves as geophysical spaces of carcerality for those who live or work there or are forced to traverse these ‘water’ worlds;

– ships (in their many and various  types, from cruise liners to cargo ships to sailing vessels and prison  hulks) as spaces of containment/for committing or preventing crime;

–  the specific spaces within ships (from everyday spaces such cabins to  engine rooms to safe rooms or panic rooms and on board holding cells)  and their ability to confine;

– other ‘maritime’ spaces  of contested containment and crime – ports that connect land and sea;  islands (from artificial to quarantine); exploratory platforms and rigs;  fantasy spaces such as seasteads;

– specific maritime  technologies that may have incarcerating effects such as submarines;  dive wear and apparatus; maritime simulation machines in vessel handling  training; nets and meshes etc.

– the way  more-than-human life/biodiversity at sea (from sea-going mammals, to  fish, to micro organisms) become subject to carceral, confining,  conditions or crime through their relation to human use, exploitation  and governance;

– how carcerality may be experienced on  the scale of the nation-state to the local level through conditions of  neoliberal bartering where offshore resources and zones are ‘sold off’  via detrimental deals with global business;

– how forms  of ocean mapping and planning might be perceived as having  incarcerating/containing impacts for people, ecosystems, more-than-human  life and relations between these.

Please send  abstracts of no more 250 words to Kimberley Peters  (, Jennifer Turner  ( by Friday 25th October 2019.  Details about attending the conference are available from the AAG  website:


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