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Carceral Cultures Cabaret

  • Lost and Found Cafe 33 West Hastings Street Vancouver, BC Canada (map)

Canadian Association of Cultural Studies Conference
"Carceral Cultures"

Even though prisons have been central to modernity, we live in a time of enormous carceral expansion. The West Bank and Gaza have been described as the world’s largest open-air prison, where carceral logistics permeate all forms of life on a daily basis. Across the globe, refugee camps, immigrant detention centres, and mass incarceration projects have targeted racialised and marginalized communities. While in many cases actual prisons and architectures of detention are hidden from view and remain inaccessible to the public at large, the impact of incarceration—its breadth and extension—is rendered as a set of logistics that work their way through material and affective economies.
We invite participation in the CACS meeting for 2018 on the theme of carceral cultures in order to examine the myriad ways in which the carceral has come to shape the economies, ecologies, aesthetics, and social and political experiences of contemporary culture. Carceral logistics are structuring our society in unprecedented ways, leading to fundamental challenges to the meaning, expression and experience of freedom. While the historical route of carceral logistics can be found through the Black Atlantic, the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean, they are also present in white settler nation states through land dispossession, enclosures, and the reformation of property law. Carceral logistics have informed the contemporary era of border technologies, data aggregation, and surveillance. They are found in the ubiquitous technologies of the state to organize and govern populations, to establish forms of segregation and partition.
Productive forms of resistance and challenges to carceral logistics are varied and strong, from the BDS campaign to solidarity movements between #blacklivesmatter and Palestine. The formation of prison solidarity in places such as Cairo, Abu Ghraib, and Guantanamo, are stories that underscore how freedom can be struggled for even at the heart of the carceral state. Indigenous movements and migrant justice networks have continuously struggled to capture and redefine freedoms that can exist outside of this logistical matrix.
The conference is hosted at Simon Fraser University’s Vancouver Campus on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwxw̱ ú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and Səlí" lwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
Papers, panels and workshops are invited on (but not restricted to) the following topics:
+ Representational strategies concerning incarceration and freedom ! Data, surveillance, sousveillance
+ Abolition movements
+ Carceral intimacies
+ Capital and labour in the carceral state
+ Enclosure, segregation, apartheid, partition
+ Prison literacies
+ Military occupation
+ Carceral mobilities
+ Legacies of internment
+ Cultural memories of incarceration
+ Embodied in/carcerations
+ Carceral feminism and its alternatives
+ Poetics of resistance
+ Freedom from Ferguson to Palestine
+ Black Lives Matter
+ Politics of containment and resistance
+ From slavery to incarceration
+ Indigenous dispossession and incarceration
+ Carceral logistics at the level of domesticity and social reproduction ! Red zones and other carceral geographies
+ Community responses to urban policing and punishment
+ Pedagogy and the carceral, eg Teaching Inside/Out
We strongly encourage pre-constituted panels/workshops and alternative approaches to academic presentation styles. Proposals for presentations/papers, panels, roundtables and workshops will be due October 15, 2017. More details about submission and registration will be forthcoming. For more information please contact
Conference Chair, Davina Bhandar; CACS On-site Committee Chair, Zoë Druick

Earlier Event: January 13
Comedy Shocker XV