I’m pleased to announce the publication of a new paper in Punishment and Society, co-authored with Dr Kimberley Peters (University of Liverpool).
Rethinking mobility in criminology: Beyond horizontal mobilities of prisoner transportation
Typically, to be incarcerated is to be fixed: limited within specific parameters or boundaries with liberty and agency greatly reduced. Yet, recent literature has attended to the movement (or mobilities) that shape, or are shaped by modes of incarceration. Rather than simply assuming that experiences are inherently ones of immobility, such literature unhinges carceral studies from its framing within a sedentary ontology. However, the potential of mobility studies for unpacking the movements enfolded in carceral space and imprisoned life has yet to be fully exploited. When attending to mobilities, criminologists have investigated the politics of movement through a traditional horizontal frame of motion (between prison spaces, between court and prison, etc.). This paper contends that studies of mobility in criminology could be productively rethought. Drawing on movements of convicts from Britain to Australia aboard prison ships, this paper argues that straightforward, horizontal mobilities at work in regimes of control and practices of resistance marry together with vertical mobilities. Paying attention to the complex mobilities involved in carceral experience leads to a more nuanced understanding of regimes of discipline and practices of resistance that shape how incarcerated individuals move (or are unable to move) within carceral spaces, past and present. Download a copy of the paper here.
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.
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.
Check out the latest Special Issue of Space and Polity entitled Between Absence and Presence: Geographies of Hiding, Invisibility and Silence edited by Rhys Dafydd Jones, James Robinson and myself here.
In this issue you can read my article entitled Criminals with ‘Community Spirit’: Practising Citizenship in the Hidden World of the Prison. I’m delighted to finally be in print!