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Resistance and Incarceration in Global Contexts

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Organizer: Juyoun Jang

Co-Organizer: Allison M. Serraes

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Critical prison studies and literary scholars such as Dylan Rodríguez, Joy James, Dennis Childs, and Patrick Elliot Alexander make connections between contemporary imprisoned men and women’s experiences and captive people in slavery. James extends the scope of neo-slave narratives by focusing on prison narratives and discusses the ways in which “the antebellum plantation ethos of dehumanization is routinely practiced and reinscribed” (xxiii) in contemporary prisons. Prison narratives resist the master-state narrative and pursue prisoners’ freedom. In this seminar, we want to extend James’s idea and examine the ways that the carceral continuum of slavery, segregation, the criminalization of Blackness, police brutality, and mass incarceration psychologically and socioeconomically confine and dehumanize. Furthermore, Rodríguez notes that prisons are sites for premature death: that is, prison regimes civically and socially murder prisoners and liquidate their familial ties. In this seminar, we want to examine spaces of premature death and extend the scope of carceral temporality and spatiality in comparative global contexts. Moreover, we aim to investigate in what ways contemporary imprisoned and confined Black and people of color resist systems of white supremacist capitalism and globalization.

Possible Topics Included:
  • Private prison industries across the Global South

  • Global explorations of the development of prisons and grassroots resistance strategies. 

  • Global South prison abolitionist movements

  • Analyses of gender, race, sexuality, and class (or the intersections thereof) relations within carceral systems

  • State and post-industrial/late capitalist turns toward prison and prison construction

  • Global, anti-imperial/anti-colonial abolitionist visions and practices

  • Prison regimes beyond U.S. prison prototype

  • Examination of the “direct links between “corporate globalization and the Prison-Industrial Complex” (Berger et al)

  • Refugeeism, Global South refugees, detention centers, and global southern spaces of confinement 

  • Global South prisons and COVID-19

Please send proposals of up to 500 words (in MLA style) and a 100-word biographical statement to Juyeon Jang and Allison M. Serraes, at and

The ACLA annual meeting will take place at National Taiwan Normal University between June 16-18, 2022. Submission is open until October 31, 2021.

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