SOAS University of London

SOAS Carceral Policy, Policing and Race Inaugural Conference

17 August 2022

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, despite the international scope of these solidarities, campaigns for racial justice continue to be monopolised by voices in the Global North, particularly the United States.

The inaugural conference of Carceral Policy, Policing and Race from SOAS will explore the varying realities and meanings of carcerality around the world, and will ask how these realities have been shaped by histories of colonialism and slavery. 

Taking place from 7-8 September, the two day conference will recalibrate a discussion that has been dominated by perspectives from the Global North, by adopting a truly comparative framework to connect the carceral experiences of those across the traditional African, Asian and Middle Eastern remit of SOAS to those in Europe, the Americas and Oceania.

Grounded in this understanding, this conference will discuss solutions, forms of resistance and alternative futures. Identifying action that is already being taken, as well as exploring new paths that remain uncharted by bringing together researchers, policymakers and activists alike, united in a desire to decolonise systems of justice around the world.

Rt Hon David Lammy MP will open the conference with a keynote speech, and chair the panel discussion, Prisons as colonial relics across Africa. 

A range of speakers – including Gargi Bhattacharyya, Vanessa E. Thompson, Stella Nyanzi and Janeille Matthews – will be presenting across a variety of panels, including, Prisons, protest and performance, Post-colonial carcerality in India, The Americas: Incarceration beyond the US, Gendered violence in an age of mass incarceration, Beyond utopia: abolitionism in practice and more. 

On the evening of Tuesday 6 September ahead of the conference, Gloria Daniel, founder of the Transatlantic Trafficked Enslaved African Corrective Historical (TTEACH) Plaques project and one of 18 living descendants in the UK of John Isaac Daniel, who was born on a Barbadian plantation owned by Thomas Daniel & Sons, will present a talk about the TTEACH project, which the SOAS School of Law, Gender and Media is collaborating on. 

To find out a full breakdown of the conference and speakers, please refer to the conference programme.

To attend the conference, please register via Eventbrite.

Conference image 2022