Custodial Care: Histories of Detention in the Name of the State

AHA Session 114
Friday, January 5, 2018: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Hampton Room (Omni Shoreham, East Lobby)
Antoinette Burton, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Nayan Shah, University of Southern California

Session Abstract

This session investigates histories of detention and incarceration that span the 19th and 20th century anglo-imperial world. We seek deep genealogies of these carceral regimes in order to insist on the variety of contexts out of which they arose, were staffed and have been rationalized in word and deed. Empire and war were clearly important factors in shaping the conditions that made these sites possible, but as the presenters will suggest, there were a myriad of social, political, economic and imaginative environments which enabled detention to take root and appear to be rational solutions to a variety of crises. Tracking the collision of these contexts with catalyzing moments of military and imperial crisis helps us to appreciate how new historical forms of punishment and control arise as well as what common patterns are discernable across disparate landscapes. 
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