1st Global Conference: Punishment (September 2012, Oxford, United Kingdom) (PUNISH 1)

Venue: Oxford

Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

Event Date/Time: Sep 03, 2012 End Date/Time: Sep 05, 2012
Registration Date: Apr 27, 2012
Abstract Submission Date: Apr 27, 2012
Paper Submission Date: Jun 29, 2012
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1st Global Conference

Monday 3rd September – Wednesday 5th September 2012
Mansfield College, Oxford

“Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces.“ (Matthew Henry)

The Call for Papers:
The aim of the project is to develop different ways of interpreting the penetration and complexity of shared understandings of punishment from a variety of perspectives, approaches and practitioner experiences. Reframing the debate might be done through papers aimed the personal or social levels. We encourage unique approaches to punishment in terms of boundary control, whether it is control of evil, the politically subversive, the economically disruptive, or punishment in pursuit of system stability or marginalisation of liminality.

No punishment has ever possessed enough power of deterrence to prevent the commission of crimes. On the contrary, whatever the punishment, once a specific crime has appeared for the first time, its reappearance is more likely than its initial emergence could ever have been. (Hannah Arendt)

Presentation might also cover punishment issues relating to defining the contours of disgust, desire, dread, or the abject and the ever changing nature of these to each other and through both time and location They may even consider the operation and consequences of both wrongdoing and various forms of societal/social punishment.


* Cultural (including cross-/inter-cultural) notions of what constitutes punishment
* Religious/spiritual punishment, asceticism, whether self-inflicted or externally imposed
* Pain, fear and corporal punishment
* Punishment, public services and performance measurement
* Punishment and child development/child rearing
* Punishment rituals
* Punishing the body for pleasure (modification, BDSM, smoking, etc)
* Punishing the body in the name of beauty and fashion
* Representations of punishment in contemporary times and across historical periods
* Theories of punishment and deviants: What is punishment’s purpose? Ideal methods? Is punishment limited to humans? What about animals or nature, and in some societies, why is imprisonment such a key form of punishment?
* Proportionality, materiality and other concepts used to administer punishment(s)
* Shame, forgiveness, vengeance, retribution and punishment
* The limits of punishment: whether controlled by the state, institutions or groups, including sports groups, cults, gangs, the military, etc.
* Shifting social attitudes toward punishment
* Self-harm, abuse and control
* Space and its role in enhancing or ameliorating punishment
* The relationship(s) between discipline and punishment

“Capital punishment is as fundamentally wrong as a cure for crime as charity is wrong as a cure for poverty.” (Henry Ford)

The Who: Accordingly the project welcomes papers, work-in-progress and pre-formed panels from diverse areas of study such as the humanities, social sciences, business, science, law schools and the arts, as well as practitioners.

The What: This project will run concurrently with our project on Space and Place– we welcome any papers considering the problems or addressing issues on Reframing Punishment and Space and Place for a cross-over panel. The Steering Group particularly welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 27th April 2012.

The How: Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to all 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: PUNISH 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 Hill & Shilinka Smith:
Email: shs@inter-disciplinary.net

Rob Fisher:
Email: punish@inter-disciplinary.net

For further details of the project, please visit:

For further details of the conference, please visit:

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.