SOAS University of London

Carceral Policy, Policing and Race

CALL FOR PAPERS | Carceral Policy, Policing and Race Conference

Date: 7 September 2022Time: 9:00 AM

Finishes: 8 September 2022Time: 5:00 PM


Type of Event: 0

SOAS is pleased to announce the inaugural conference of Carceral Policy, Policing and Race, a new project headed by the Rt Hon David Lammy MP. In the wake of a resurgent Black Lives Matter movement, we have witnessed a renewed dialogue about the salience of race in systems of policing and prisons. However, this has not been translated into a sustained conversation about the global reality of Black, brown and Indigenous internment. Explored chiefly within the context of the Global North, discussions of racial justice routinely exclude the demands of marginalised populations across the Global South, whose carceral experiences remain hidden behind geographically restrictive framings. Recalibrating the discussion, this conference explores the varying realities – and meanings – of carcerality around the world.

To do so, we will ask how these realities have been shaped by histories – and continuities –of colonialism and slavery. By understanding these colonialities, the conference will not only amplify the carceral experiences of marginalised populations across the Global South, but connect them to the experiences of Black, Asian, Indigenous and minority ethnic individuals navigating legacies of colonialism and slavery elsewhere. The conference adopts a truly comparative framework to uncover the divergent historical trajectories, yet strikingly similar carceral colonial character, of societies across Europe, the Americas and Oceania, as well as the traditional African, Asian and Middle Eastern remit of SOAS.

Grounded in this understanding, this conference will also discuss solutions, forms of resistance and alternative futures. Identifying action that is already being taken, as well as exploring new paths that remain uncharted, the conference will ask what it would mean to“decolonise” systems of criminal justice around the world. 

Our aim is to facilitate a network of people united in their concerns over the salience of race in systems of prisons, policing and detention. We are now welcoming the following submissions:

1. Academic/research abstracts. Space will be made for submissions from graduate students.

2. Proposals from activists, public servants, practitioners, professionals, lawmakers and those willing to share their experience of incarceration, detention and police repression.

3. Abstracts from authors of recently published or forthcoming books, to be discussed with selected respondents.

Please email your submissions (max. 500 words) to Oly Durose at The conference will take place on a hybrid basis, so please detail whether you wish to attend in person or online. We hope to have bursaries available for those who would otherwise not be able to attend. Please provide an additional short statement (max. 200 words) if you would like to apply for this funding. If you would like to discuss any proposals before submitting, or require any further information, please get in touch. The  deadline for submissions is Monday 2nd May. Please visit for more information about the Project.

Contact email: