Call for Papers: On Incarceration, Surveillance, and Policing

Call for Papers: On Incarceration, Surveillance, and Policing

We are pleased to invite submissions for the seventh issue of Kohl: a Journal for Body and Gender Research, slated for publication in June 2018. Young activists, independent researchers, graduate students and fresh graduates are particularly encouraged to apply. We also welcome submissions from seminal contributors in the field.

Prisons are often framed as correctional institutions, and the criminal justice system as one of protection. In framing criminalization as both protective and preventive, not only do states limit protection to the legal apparatus, but they do so in exchange of resources, silence, cooperation, and behavior that does not challenge their status quo. The creation of sexual citizenships that are coopted in surveillance and policing mechanisms contributes in the construction of a national imaginary that rests on binaries of exclusion/inclusion, as illustrated by governmental crackdowns, the most recent of which being on Egyptian queers. In this sense, surveillance and policing are not confined to incarceration or the justice system alone; they are also normalized as necessary to maintain social and institutional norms, and eventually trickle down to peer to peer surveillance. Both in the online and offline worlds, policing and surveillance respectively act as a disciplinary tool and a mechanism of intimidation and control.

For this issue of Kohl, we are looking to understand systems of criminal justice as massive machines for mental and physical isolation, including incarceration, policing, and surveillance from a feminist lens, and expose the effects of liberal reformist politics when it comes to incarceration, and the ways in which such reforms create a system where punishment is more entrenched. We are looking for papers that reclaim agency and bodily integrity and explore the ways in which bodies, movement, sexualities, and genders, among others, are controlled and commodified. We are also interested in critiques of the hegemonic state discourses, as well as those of mainstream allyship, for their disposal of bodies deemed unfit for nationhood, citizenship, and institutions, as well as notions of a virtuous morality on the one hand, and a vulgarization of sex as radical on the other.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Can we speak of a prison industrial complex in the regions of North Africa, Middle East, and South West Asia?
  • Critiques of criminalization and feminist alternatives to systems of punishment: can we speak of transformative justice?
  • The distinctions and intersections between policing, surveillance, and systems of control
  • Policing the body: torture, forced or criminalized abortions, and forced sterilizations
  • Governmental crackdowns, sexual conformity, and the new wave of detention of Egyptian queers
  • Multidimensional and non-individualistic approaches to solidarity in response to incarceration and repression: alternatives to the stereotypical imagery of genders and sexual representations and the resistance/domination binary
  • Social, digital, institutional, and peer to peer surveillance and policing
  • Policing and surveillance as punishments: clandestine work, domestic work, sex work, migrants, and refugees
  • Human trafficking and the commodification of bodies in trade
  • Sexual, economic, and racial privileges in avoiding “systems of justice”
  • Breaking the law: non-conforming sexualities and expressions, bodies of dissent, and their implications on fragile/sexual citizenship, healthcare, and neoliberal economies
  • Disability discourses in the context of war and displacement

The deadline for submissions is February 18, 2018. To submit a paper, please send your blinded piece to kohljournal@gmail.com as a .doc or .docx file, with “Submission Issue 7” as the subject of your e-mail. We accept work in progress, provided full drafts are submitted. If accepted for inclusion, please note that your paper will be translated to a second language by our team.

Kohl: a Journal for Body and Gender Research كحل: مجلة لأبحاث الجسد و الجندر is produced in cooperation with Heinrich Boell Stiftung, Middle East Office, Beirut.

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