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Graduate conference 2022

“Global Perspectives on the Prison and Systems of Punishment ”

a HYBRID one-day event convened by T.H. Breen Graduate Fellow Chernoh  BAH
Leopold Room, Harris Hall (Rm. 108), 1881 Sheridan Rd., Evanston campus (with in-person and remote papers, livestreamed for a wider audience)

The prison has come to represent the modern site of punishment in today’s world. However, systems of punishment have a long history, and they included banishment and exile, forceful conscriptions, forced migration and forceful dispersal, communal separation, and confinement. Scholars have been grappling with the fluid concept of punishment both as a lived experience and an analytic category to explore how various sites of punishment – on ships, in labor camps and quarries, on islands, military camps, and penal colonies – have defined and shaped our understanding of cultures of punishment across time and place. For instance, how has the prison become the dominant site of punishment in most societies across the world today? How has the emergence of the prison transformed notions and cultures of punishment in different parts of the world? How has imprisonment been used by non-government actors in their efforts to seize or create state power?

Professor Clare Anderson of the University of Leicester in the UK will serve as keynote speaker.  Her lecture will be on "Convicts: A Global History." Professor Anderson is an historian specializing in the history of prisons, penal settlements, and penal colonies in Mauritius and South and Southeast Asia from the late 18th to early 20th centuries. For more on Professor Anderson’s work see

Friday, APRIL 8, 2022

 Convener: Chernoh Alpha M. BAH, T.H. Breen Fellow at the CCHS

 In person: Harris Hall 108 (Leopold Room), 1881 Sheridan Rd., Evanston



Chair: Katya Maslakowski (Northwestern University)

 Heather Menefee (Northwestern University)The Right to Returns: Dakota People’s Reckoning with US Carceral Systems, 1860-65

 Chernoh Bah (Northwestern University) – Death, Disease, and Forced Labor in Freetown Prison, 1914-1925

 Yemisi Olawale and Ridwan Tosho Idris (University of Ilorin, Nigeria) – Crime, Prison Services, and Administration in Colonial Ilorin, North Central Nigeria [ZOOM]

Fathun Karib Satrio (Binghamton University) – Primitive Accumulation, Global Punishment, and Crime as Mechanism of Socio-Cultural Control

 Commentator: Professor Benjamin Frommer (Northwestern University)

10:30-11 a.m. Break

Chair: Andrew Holter (Northwestern University)

Bart Feberwee (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany) – The Neoliberal Criminal: The Prisoner’s Dilemma in Post-WWII United States [ZOOM]

Willie Mack (Stony Brook University) – United States Carceral Empire through the Prisons of Haiti [ZOOM]

Charlotte Rosen (Northwestern University) – Harris v. Philadelphia and the Dilemma of Mass Imprisonment in 1990s Law and Order Philadelphia

Commentator: Professor Martha Biondi (Northwestern University)

 12:30-1:00 p.m. Lunch Break (with boxed lunches available)
Introduction of keynote speaker: Sean Hanretta, Northwestern University

 2:30-2:45 p.m. Break


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