Call for Presentations

3rd Global Conference


Sunday 1st  September – Tuesday 3rd September 2013
Mansfield College, Oxford

Re-framing Punishment and the Body


What is Punishment? Is it about hurting the body? Or is it about pleasure? Or is it neither? There are those who argue that punishment is a mechanism for controlling deviance and deterring crime. Others argue that it is a method that balances the scales of justice. While still others argue that it is a form of controlling behaviour and an expression of power. Accordingly research today is often focused on punishment in terms of offenders, the offence, the state and legal codification. Yet in the 19th century the French sociologist Durkheim maintained that rituals of punishment were not necessarily concerned with the criminal. He argued that punishment involved reordering or making amends for a situation in a way that demonstrated group norm and strengthened moral boundaries – it rebuilt solidarity and social order. More recently Smith (2008) argued that ‘punishment is an activity and communicative process involving the sending and receiving of messages, ambiguity or the analysis of multiple and intersecting, complex and layered systems of meaning’. Overall this suggests that the concept of Punishment is a meaningful site of contestation. Therefore the aim of the project is to develop different ways of understanding the complexity of punishment and/or the body from a variety of perspectives, approaches and practitioner experiences. We encourage unique approaches to punishment in terms of the body and boundary control, whether it is control of evil, the politically subversive, the economically disruptive, or punishment in pursuit of system stability or marginalisation of the liminal. Papers might also consider the operation and consequences of wrongdoing and various forms of societal/social punishment. Accordingly the project welcomes papers, work-in-progress and pre-formed panels from diverse areas of academic study, as well as practitioners. Papers, presentations, reports and workshops are invited, but not limited to, issues broadly related to any of the following themes:

  • Changing notions of punishment over time or in particular spaces.
  • Punishment issues relating to defining the contours of disgust, desire, dread, or the abject.
  • Body horror and forms of Punishment
  • Desire and Punishment (addiction, BDSM, modification, fashion)
  • Punishment and its relationship with Pain, Fear and Death
  • Punishment, Ritual and Religion/spirituality
  • Punishment and Strategies of Control /Order in everyday life or business
  • Punishment, War, Enforcement, Education and/or the Family
  • Literature, Art, Popular culture and Punishment
  • Cultural approaches to punishment
  • Abuses of Punishment

What to Send:
300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 22nd March 2013. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 21st June 2013. Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) up to 10 key words. E-mails should be entitled: PUNISH3 Abstract Submission.

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). Please note that a Book of Abstracts is planned for the end of the year. All accepted abstracts will be included in this publication. We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Joint Organising Chairs:

Shona Hil & Shilinka Smith: 
Rob Fisher:

If you like this you will also like: Bullying and the Abuse of Power, Ethics, Evil and the State, Experiencing Prison, Pluralism, Inclusion and Citizenship, Violence, War, Civil Conflict, Peace and Security, Strangers, Aliens and Foreigners, Enviromental Justice and Global Citizenship, Body Horror, Time, Space + Body, Villains and Villainy