Anthropology of Confinement Network

This network aims to bring together researchers that are examining institutions and practices of confinement. We aim to create a space where we can discuss research findings and ethnographic experiences resulting from the examination of current forms of confinement. Confinement is today exercised in a diversity of contexts and institutions. Penal institutions, immigration detention centres, asylums, retirement homes, psychiatric institutions, personal homes for individuals under house arrest, electronic monitoring (and associated curfew) are but a few examples of the variety of shapes that confinement may take. The study of such institutions and practices is met with particular obstacles pertaining to obtaining access, the researcher’s positionality, the vulnerability of confined subjects, achieving informed consent, emotional engagement, etc. We intend to create a space that fosters ethical, methodological and conceptual discussion on the anthropology of confinement a space where researcheers can share with their peers not just their findings and theoretical considerations, but also their anxieties and concerns over field research. Furthermore, we aim to encourage stimulating debates, collaborative work and publication ventures.

At the EASA 2014 conference, in Tallinn, Estonia, two of the network convenors held a panel entitled Prison Ethnographies, Research Intimacies and Social Change (P051), which resulted in the call for the establishment of this network due primarily to two facts. First, the panel received a large number of submissions, many of which regarded research carried out not in prisons but in other sites of confinement such as immigration detention centres, psychiatric institutions and house arrest. Authors felt there was no other space for them to present. The scope of the panel was then broaden from the start. Second, it was clear from both presentations and discussion that the difficulties in researching such practices and institutions meant that researchers go through specific pains and ethical dilemmas. It was felt that there was not a space to voice and share these concerns and obtain peer support.

- Proposing EASA Conference Panels focusing on different issues relevant to the Anthropology of Confinement.
- Through our Mailing list we create an open space for researchers to communicate and facilitate opportunities for collaborative work.
- Promote Publications of research on the Anthropology of Confinement, including but not limited to selected papers of the network panels to come.
- Through our Facebook page we share and circulate posts relevant to members (new research, news, CfP, etc.).

View a list of our EASA conference panels on the events page >>

Network convenors
Luisa Schneider,
Ulla Berg, , Rutgers University
Carolina Sanchez Boe, , Aarhus University