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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[Public forum] The Lamu Coal Plant: Uncovering the Real Political, Health & Environmental Aspects

Public forum: The Lamu Coal Plant: Uncovering the Real Political, Health and Environmental Aspects

Friday 14 July 2017 | Laico Regency, Nairobi| 3-6:00pm | Free Entry

The Government of Kenya in conjunction with a private partner has proposed to construct a 1,050 Megawatt coal-fired power plant in Kwasasi, Lamu County. Given the magnitude of the project, it is paramount that the potential benefits and pitfalls are clearly understood by the public. This will only happen when there is transparency on the project and robust public debate.

Having experienced power rationing in the year 2000 coupled with the high cost of electricity, energy security and affordability is an issue many Kenyans can relate to. There is no doubt that the State must provide affordable energy to its citizens whilst also seeking the most sustainable means of doing so.

The proposed coal plant is to be constructed in an area that has an incredibly rich environment and culture heritage. It has been argued that the project will foster development in the area but there has been no discussion on the true cost of this development especially in an already marginalized area. As citizens, we must consider the climate change implications bearing in mind the recent drought experienced in the country. Whilst China, India and the United Kingdom are closing coal plants, Kenya is pushing to build the first one in Eastern Africa.

Key discussion points:

  1. What impact will the plant have on the socio-economic aspects on the inhabitants of Lamu County?
  2. Why isn’t the government providing information on the public health impacts of the coal plant?
  3. Will the coal plant contribute to the climate change vulnerability of the country?

Invited Speakers:

  • Hon. Shakila Abdalla — Lamu County Women’s Representative
  • Prof. Nick King — Climate Change and Sustainable Development Expert; Co-Chair of the Scientific Advisory Panel for UNEP’s 6th Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-6) Report
  • Prof. Peter Orris — Chief of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the University of Illinois Hospital
  • Raya Famau — Board Member, Save Lamu
  • Hindpal Jabbal — Former Chairman, Energy Regulatory Commission

Facilitated by:

John-Allan Namu

Format of discussion:

A panel discussion contextualizes issues to the audience. This is infused with public dialogue and Q&A where the audience engages with the panel and forum.

Sign language will be provided.

Join the conversation online via #DeCOALonize.

DeCOALonize on Social: Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Website

Programme Coordinator, Regional & Int’l Dialogue (Heinrich Böll Stiftung)

Heinrich Böll Stiftung is looking for a full-time Programme Coordinator who can develop, coordinate and manage all projects under the Regional and International Dialogue Component of the regional office. The ideal individual is a highly motivated self-starter, who is as comfortable in a boardroom as in a rural area, with a passion for social justice and democratic governance in the region. This will help us and our partners to achieve our vision for East and Horn of Africa…

The Regional and International Dialogue Programme Component contributes to peace, political stability and democratic governance and respect for diversity through inclusive participation of a wide variety of non-state actor groups in the region. This includes:

  • Dialogue between civil society actors, academics and decision makers from East and Horn of Africa, Europe and emerging powers;
  • Thought leaders challenging the roll-back of democratic governance reforms and norms and values that perpetuate patriarchal mind sets throughout East Africa and the Horn of Africa;
  • Inclusion of civic voices and local and gendered perspectives in discourses towards peace, political stabilisation and nation building in the Horn of Africa region.

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