CFP: Race and Criminalization in History and Society

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The Fourth Biennial Interdisciplinary International Conference on Race

Monmouth University

West Long Branch, NJ

April 16, Thursday, April 18, Saturday 2015

The Criminalization of Race in History and Global Societies:

Social Activism and Equal Justice

The criminalization of race, mass incarceration, and the emergence of the prison industrial complex have been significant occurrences in modern world history. The U.S. has incarcerated more people (primarily men of color) than any other society in history with a current prison population of 2.3 million. The increase in the prison population in places such as the U.S., Brazil, and China has made mass incarceration a global social crisis.

This conference asks scholars from multiple disciplinary perspectives to explore race and criminal justice throughout history and across global societies with an emphasis on social activism and equal justice. How have scholars and activists in general responded to the social crisis of what Michel Foucault defined as the “carceral” state? What about prison education programs and challenges to such initiatives? What about the connections between race, gender, and class in the emergence of mass incarceration? How have the rates of incarceration varied over time and space? What are some of the connections between the criminalization of race, rates of incarceration, and the prison industrial complex in global societies?

We welcome individual papers or panel proposals that address these questions or other aspects of race and criminal justice from historical, anthropological, sociological, legal, cultural, political, etc. perspectives. Papers related to the topic of race more generally are also welcome. Please contact Hettie V. Williams, Lecturer in African American History, Department of History and Anthropology, for more details. This conference webpage will be updated periodically:

Proposal Guidelines: Send a 150-word abstract and title for each paper, one page curriculum vitae for each participant, and contact information for each presenter by November 1, 2014 to Maryanne Rhett at:   

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Race and the U.S. Criminal Justice System
  • Prison Education Programs
  • Prison Literature
  • Prison Labor and Corporations
  • Surveillance of Black Male Bodies
  • The Carceral State
  • African American Women in the U.S. Criminal Justice System
  • The School to Prison Pipeline
  • Race and the History of Mandatory Minimums
  • Race and the Criminal Justice System in Popular Media
  • African Americans and Police Brutality
  • Race, Gender, and Justice
  • Lynch Law in Global Perspective
  • Race and Sentencing
  • Mass Incarceration in World Societies
  • Race, Class, and Incarceration

The Monmouth University Conference on race is a biennial interdisciplinary and international conference on race that has taken place since 2008. This conference brings together scholars on race across multiple disciplines from more than fifteen U.S. states, four continents, and twelve nations. Alan H. Goodman, Robin D.G. Kelley, and David Roediger have all previously served as keynote speakers for this event.