2nd International Conference for Carceral Geography

The Carceral Geography Working Group (CGWG) of the RGS-IBG organised the 2nd International Conference for Carceral Geography at the University of Birmingham, 11-12 December 2017.

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  1. Six months in the planning, the conference was sponsored by the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, and the Centre for Crime, Justice and Policing, at the University of Birmingham. Fabulous keynote speakers accepted invitations, and there was an incredible response to the CFP. Forty years after the English translation of 'Discipline and Punish', twenty years after Teresa Dirsuweit researched women's prisons in South Africa, and ten years after the publication of Ruth Wilson Gilmore's 'Golden Gulag', carceral researchers prepared to gather in Birmingham to mark the foundation of the CGWG...
  2. Speakers were drawn from the UK, US, New Zealand, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Norway, Denmark and more. Over 100 delegates registered, and keynote speakers from geography, prison sociology, criminology, and legal studies, promised a thought-provoking interdisciplinary event...
  3. ...and it wouldn't be a Birmingham conference without a curry...
  4. The last few days before the conference saw final preparations underway...
  5. ...and the decision to dedicate the conference to the memory of Ulysse Mincke, son of Christophe Mincke, who had been tragically killed a few weeks earlier. Christophe had planned to speak at the conference, and had he joined us, he would have considered the ways in which the carceral extends beyond prison walls, and the fact that the carceral is not something ‘over there’, that we research and then leave, but something that affects us all as scholars, as citizens, and as humans.
  6. Christophe and Christal's appeal for donations, in Ulysse' name, to the “Two Euro Fifty”/"Deux Euros Cinquante" campaign to help refugees in Belgium, reminds us, in the words of Brett Story, that we must "make the prison a subject of reinvigorated debate, by suggesting that it operates not just as a buildingover there, but as a structure of power braided deeply into the relationships,economies and landscapes all around us"

  7. On the eve of the conference, the weather intervened - the heaviest snowfall in the UK for years.... Birmingham's historic campus looked beautiful, but with the airport closed, trains delayed and roads impassable, the conference was under threat...
  8. But the snow did not defeat us...
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