New Paper… Between crime and colony: interrogating (im)mobilities aboard the convict ship

I’m pleased to announce the publication of a new paper in Social and Cultural Geography, co-authored with Dr Kimberley Peters (Aberystwyth University).

Between crime and colony: interrogating (im)mobilities aboard the convict ship

Abstract: Recent literature in carceral geography has attended to the importance of mobilities in interrogating the experience and control of spaces of imprisonment, detention and confinement. Scholars have explored the paradoxical nature of incarcerated experience as individuals oscillate between moments of fixity and motion as they are transported to/from carceral environments. This paper draws upon the convict ship – an example yet to gain attention within these emerging discussions – which is both an exemplar of this paradox and a lens through which to complicate understandings of carceral (im)mobilities. The ship is a space of macro-movement from point A to B, whilst simultaneously a site of apparent confinement for those aboard who are unable to move beyond its physical parameters. Yet, we contend that all manner of mobilities permeate the internal space of the ship. Accordingly, we challenge the binary thinking that separates moments of fixity from motion and explore the constituent parts that shape movement. In paying attention to movements in motion on the ship, we argue that studies of carceral mobility must attend to both methods of moving in the space between points A and B; as micro, embodied and intimate (im)mobilities are also played out within large-scale regimes of movement. Download a copy of the paper here

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Special Issue of Geographica Helvetica: Crime and Carcerality Across Boundaries

I’m delighted to announce a new special issue of the Open Access journal Geographica Helvetica, entitled ‘Crime and Carcerality Across Boundaries’. The issue, edited by Myself, Antje Schlottman and Matthew Hannah brings together an exciting collection of papers by Matt Mitchelson, Deirdre Conlon, Nancy Hiemstra, Jenna Loyd, Alison Mountz, Brett Story, Martijn Felder, Chin-Ee Ong, Claudio Minca, Elizabeth Brown, Dominique Moran and Yvonne Jewkes.

My thanks go to all the contributors and reviewers who helped me along the way!

The full contents list of the Special Issue, with web links looks like this:

Introduction: Criminality and carcerality across boundaries

J. Turner
Geogr. Helv., 69, 321-323, 2014
Abstract   Full Article (PDF, 32 KB)

The production of bedspace: prison privatization and abstract space

M. L. Mitchelson
Geogr. Helv., 69, 325-333, 2014
Abstract   Full Article (PDF, 82 KB)

Examining the everyday micro-economies of migrant detention in the United States

D. Conlon and N. Hiemstra
Geogr. Helv., 69, 335-344, 2014
Abstract   Full Article (PDF, 93 KB)

“Green” prisons: rethinking the “sustainability” of the carceral estate

D. Moran and Y. Jewkes
Geogr. Helv., 69, 345-353, 2014
Abstract   Full Article (PDF, 75 KB)

Alone inside: solitary confinement and the ontology of the individual in modern life

B. Story
Geogr. Helv., 69, 355-364, 2014
Abstract   Full Article (PDF, 87 KB)

Governing refugee space: the quasi-carceral regime of Amsterdam’s Lloyd Hotel, a German-Jewish refugee camp in the prelude to World War II

M. Felder, C. Minca, and C. E. Ong
Geogr. Helv., 69, 365-375, 2014
Abstract   Full Article (PDF, 907 KB)

Expanding carceral geographies: challenging mass incarceration and creating a “community orientation” towards juvenile delinquency

E. Brown
Geogr. Helv., 69, 377-388, 2014
Abstract   Full Article (PDF, 96 KB)

Transnational productions of remoteness: building onshore and offshore carceral regimes across borders

A. Mountz and J. Loyd
Geogr. Helv., 69, 389-398, 2014
Abstract   Full Article (PDF, 293 KB)

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Carceral Geography at the AAG, Chicago IL, 2015

logo_aagCarceral Geographers attending the AAG meeting in Chicago, IL next Spring should have plenty to keep their attention. Jen Turner and Dominique Moran have put together a series of linked sessions which draw together some really exciting work and should provide plenty of scope for discussion and conversation. Join us!

Carceral Geographies I: Theorisations of Confinement

Christophe Mincke: Prison: Legitimacy Through Mobility?
Elizabeth A. Brown: Care, carceral geographies, and the reconfiguration of mass incarceration
Kimberley Peters: ‘Unlock the volume’: bringing height and depth to carceral mobilities
Stephanie Figgins: Between the Sheets of the U.S. Deportation Regime
Discussant: Nick Gill

Carceral Geographies II: Prison Architecture and Design

Fie Vandamme: Fit IN Stand OUT: Rules and Elements for Humane Prison Architecture
Jennifer Turner: Shaping ‘inhabitation’: the complexities of prison design and prison building
Dominique Moran: Prison architects as moral agents: is it possible to design a ‘healthy’ prison?
Gideon Boie: Prison Up Close: subject positions in the penitentiary spatial structure
Discussant: Lauren Martin

Carceral Geographies III: Activity, Agency and Organisation

Katie Hemsworth:”Prisoner’s Talking Blues”: Music, emotion, and spatiality in prisons
Orisanmi Burton: The Politics of Containment: Prison-Based Activism in the Empire State
Lloyd Gray: How do prisoners experience and perceive the education environment within a prison? An interpretative phenomenological analysis approach
Geraldine Brown: A holistic evaluation of delivering a community based food growing mentoring programme in a prison setting with substance misuse offenders.
Discussant: Shaul Cohen

Carceral Geographies IV: Gendered and Embodied Confinement

Victoria Knight: Modus Vivendi: The cell, emotions, social relations and television
Jessica Bird: Segregation in Scottish Prisons: A Socio-Spatial History
William Payne: Governmentality, performativity and sexuality – A scholarly consideration of a drag show in a prison
Rae Rosenberg: Transgender Embodiment in Carceral Space: Hypermasculinity and the US Prison Industrial Complex
Discussant: Karen M. Morin

Carceral Geographies V: (Re)defining Boundaries

Elizabeth Bos: We were there too: Reflexive experiences of evaluating a prison gardening intervention
Dana Cuomo: Incarceration and domestic violence: Perspectives from victims on the outside
Tony Sparks: The Asylum is on These Streets: Managing Mental Illness in the Carceral Community
Avril Maddrell: The charity shop, permeable carcarel spaces, gendered power relations, reparation and rehabilitation
Discussant: Jennifer Turner

Carceral Geographies VI: (Re)defining Boundaries 2

Nathan Kahn: Public Memory, Landscape, and Historic Carcerality at the Groveland Correctional Facility
Oriane Simon: Extraordinary Rendition’s Transfers in Ambiguous Spaces
Vanessa Anne Massaro: Prison’s revolving door and the porous boundaries of carceral spaces
Stephen Sherman: Why Drug-Free School Zones are Bad for Communities: Evaluating sentence enhancement zone outcomes across urban forms
Discussant: Dominique Moran

Carceral Geographies VII: Future Directions in Carceral Geographies

Panelists: Shaul Cohen, Nick Gill, Dominique Moran, Deirdre Conlon, Jennifer Turner

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Fixed-term and temporary: teaching fellows, tactics, and the negotiation of contingent labour in the UK higher education system

My latest article, co-authored with Kimberley Peters, in Environment and Planning A is available here.


This paper autobiographically considers the role of teaching-only staff as a contingent labour force in the contemporary higher education system in the UK. The aims are twofold. First, whilst much attention has been paid to the role of the research fellow, there has been less consideration, in the UK context, of the teaching fellow as an alternate form of postdoctoral experience. Accordingly, this paper gives voice to the teaching fellow—a member of academic staff who is not allocated writing and research time as part of their contract—whose views are often marginalised in ongoing debates concerning the plays of power in the neoliberalised academy. Second, the paper raises these voices to bring into consciousness the impacts of the teaching fellow experience for the fellows themselves and the faculties they work in. It is argued that teaching fellows face challenging circumstances with regard to their career trajectories in the academy. Accordingly, this paper considers the ways in which fellows, through tactics of place-making, presence and visibility, and collaboration, negotiate the challenging structural and institutional conditions that underscore their contracts. It is contended that exploring the teaching-only workforce is vital for critically assessing the workings of the contemporary academy and questioning the unequal power relations that shape work places in a culture where contingent labour is expanding; becoming less of a fixed-term and temporary feature of the university system but, rather, a stable and enduring one.
Keywords: contingent labour, higher education, fixed-term, temporary, teaching

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Potential Carceral Geography research group – survey

Following a series of successful sessions at recent conferences of the Royal Geographical Society-Institute of British Geographers and Association of American RGS_logoGeographers, and in particular, sessions organised as part of the RGS-IBG 2014, there seems to be an interest developing in establishing some kind of formal research network around carceral geography.

One way forward could be to establish either a Research Group or a Working Group, of the RGS-IBG, (which would also be open to non-RGS-IBG members, and would also welcome colleagues from outside of the discipline of geography) and which could serve as a hub for networking and information sharing among like-minded researchers. Depending on what kind of group is established, it could also provide some funds to support postgraduates, and to arrange events.

In order to gauge potential interest, we would like to ask you to complete this survey.

If weight of opinion is in favour of establishing some kind of group, a list of names of potential supporters/members would be needed – this is covered in the survey. Please consider adding your name to this list, whether or not you are an RGS-IBG member.

Dominique Moran (University of Birmingham)

Jennifer Turner (University of Leicester)

Anna Schliehe (University of Glasgow)

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Call for Papers: Carceral Geography at the Association of American Geographers conference, Chicago, 2015

Papers are invited, on diverse aspects of carceral geography, for the Association of American Geographers annual conference, to be held in Chicago in April 2015
Session organisers: Jennifer Turner (University of Leicester), Marie Hutton (University of Birmingham), and Dominique Moran (University of Birmingham)
Although prisons and criminal justice systems are integral parts of governance and techniques of governmentality, the geographical study of the prison and other confined or closed spaces is still relatively novel. The vibrant subdiscipline of carceral geography has already made substantial progress, has established useful and fruitful dialogues with cognate disciplines of criminology and prison sociology, and is attuned to issues of contemporary import such as hyperincarceration and the advance of the punitive state. It has also used the carceral context as a lens through which to view concepts with wider currency within contemporary and critical human geography. Thus far, it has made key contributions to debates within human geography over mobility, liminality, and embodiment, and it has increasingly found a wider audience, with geographical approaches to carceral space being taken up by and developed further within criminology and prison sociology. Carceral geography brings to the study of prisons and imprisonment an understanding of relational space, as encountered, performed and fluid. Rather than seeing prisons as spatially fixed and bounded containers for people and imprisonment practices, rolled out across Cartesian space through prison systems straightforwardly mappable in scale and distance, carceral geography has tended towards an interpretation of prisons as fluid, geographically-anchored sites of connections and relations, both connected to each other and articulated with wider social processes through and via mobile and embodied practices. Hence its focus on the experience, performance and mutability of prison space, the porous prison boundary, mobility within and between institutions, and the ways in which meanings and significations are manifest within fluid and ever-becoming carceral landscapes.
This session both invites contributions which reflect the development of carceral geography to date, and also those which suggest future developments – these could explore:
• the emergent discourse of criminological cartography;
• transdisciplinary synergies between carceral geography, law, psychology, and architectural studies;
• prison design and the lived experience of carceral spaces;
• affect and emotion;
• carceral TimeSpace;
• the embodied experience of incarceration;
• feminist and corporeal carceral geographies;
• theorisation of coerced, governmental or disciplined mobility;
• confluence with critical border studies;
• dialogue with architectural and cultural geographies;
• engagement with abolitionist praxis;
• notions of the purposes of imprisonment and the geographical and/or historical contexts in which these are socially constructed.
Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words by email to Jennifer Turner ( and Marie Hutton ( by 1st October 2014.
Successful submissions will be contacted by 8th October 2014 and will be expected to register and submit their abstracts online at the AAG website by October 31st 2014 ahead of a session proposal deadline of 5th November 2014. Please note a range of registration fees will apply and must be paid before the submission of abstracts to the AAG online system.

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A new book ….. Placing the Border in Everyday Life

Read my new book chapter, entitled ‘‘No place like home”: boundary traffic through the prison gate in Placing the Border in Everyday Life, out this month.

Edited by Reece Jones and Corey Johnson, this book complicates the connection between borders and sovereign states by identifying the individuals and organizations that engage in border work at a range of scales and places. This edited volume includes contributions from major international scholars in the field of border studies and allied disciplines who analyze where and why border work is done. By combining a new theorization of border work beyond the state with rich empirical case studies, this book makes a ground-breaking contribution to the study of borders and the state in the era of globalization.

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