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Imprisonment, Encampment, Incarceration: Prison Studies in a Global Frame
May 11, 2017 @ 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
A. Naomi Paik (Keynote)
J. Daniel Elam
A.J. Yumi Lee
Never before in history have as many people around the world been confined in carceral sites — penitentiaries, prisons, interrogation centers, supermax facilities, military detention camps, labor camps, and more — as they are today. This exponential increase in prisons and imprisoned populations over the last several decades reveals a seeming paradox of modernity — that is, the modern era, in all its global diversity, has nonetheless been the era of the prison. The global history of the prison reveals a troubling alternative genealogy of political modernity, insofar as modern conceptions of citizenship, rights, and political emancipation have often been produced through their multiple entanglements with modern regimes of surveillance, policing, and incarceration. Yet too often studies of penal regimes or punishment practices remain limited in their regional or theoretical scope, seeking to answer questions about particular carceral, policing, or legal realities without making links between the global economies or interlinked histories or logics of punishment. This conference seeks to address this issue by encouraging a comparative and transnational investigation of carceral and policing practices across borders, eras, and academic disciplines by bringing together several leading scholars working in the emerging and interdisciplinary field of global prison studies.