Political Imprisonments and Confinements: A Call for Proposals from the Radical History Review

Thomas Harbison's picture
Call for Papers
September 1, 2021
New Jersey, United States
Subject Fields: 
Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Early Modern History and Period Studies, Human Rights, Political History / Studies, Race / Ethnic Studies

Political Imprisonments and Confinements
Issue number 146 (May 2023)
Abstract Deadline: September 1, 2021
Co-Edited by Marc Goulding, Teresa Meade, and Margaret Power

Radical History Review seeks contributions for a special issue exploring degrees, types, and experiences of imprisonments and confinements throughout history, and the individuals, groups, and spaces involved in them. We recognize that all imprisonments are political, and that the reasons for incarceration or confinement vary widely across space, time, and context. For that reason, this issue explores the histories of individuals and groups who have faced imprisonment, confinement, exile, banishment, or internment, due to clashes with institutions or individuals in power and authority. The subjects may range in scope from detainees attached to political movements to wartime internees to prisoners of conscience to refugee camp inmates to closeted or othered individuals; those who have faced confinement for challenging established hierarchies of gender, sexuality, nationality, race, social class, religion, ethnicity, political perspective, or mode of ability. The spaces that involve such imprisonments and confinements might include a dungeon, a priest’s hole, an attic, a cellar, a prison complex, a camp, a border, a building, or an entire country, province, or region. The subjects of these histories may include political prisoners or prisoners of conscience, or captives, detainees, sidelined-asylum-seekers, and criminalized whistleblowers.

We welcome articles that historically address these issues in any period, from the ancient to the recent.

Some topics to be addressed may include:

  • What constitutes political imprisonment and confinement and how might that be explored historically? In what ways are all imprisonments political?
  • How has confinement helped shape the internal and external power systems such as monarchies, empires, and nation-states?
  • Who is/was a political prisoner? Does a person need to be part of a movement to be a political prisoner?
  • How have political institutions and formations implemented various strategies to maintain their power and hegemony?
  • How have the confined acted, resisted, and shaped societies and polities?
  • How have historians and others sought to recover the voices of the confined?
  • What methods have been used to weaken or destroy the confined? By what means have they resisted and survived?
  • How have the confined created artistic expressions from within their confinement?

We plan to include a Curated Spaces section drawing on artistic productions made by imprisoned or confined people.

The RHR seeks scholarly, monographic research articles, and we encourage contributions from beyond the academy such as photo essays, film and book reviews, interviews, brief interventions, or “conversations” between scholars and/or activists who engage with works that explore experiences of imprisonment, of marginalization, of genocide, of “reservationization,” forced assimilation, and purposeful exclusion by or about confined people.

Procedures for submission of articles:

By September 1, 2021, please submit a 1-2 page abstract summarizing the article you wish as a Word or PDF file attachment to contactrhr@gmail.com with “Issue 146 Abstract Submission” in the subject line. By October 15, 2021, authors will be notified whether they should submit a full version of their article for peer review. The due date for full-length article submissions will be February 1, 2022.

Please send any images as low-resolution digital files embedded in a Word or PDF document along with the text. If chosen for publication, you will need to supply high-resolution image files (JPG or TIFF files at a minimum of 300 dpi) and secure permission to reprint the images.

Those articles selected for publication after the peer review process will be included in issue 146 of the Radical History Review, scheduled to appear in May, 2023.

Abstract Deadline: September 1, 2021

Contact: contactrhr@gmail.com

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