2nd Global Conference:Reframing Punishment: Opportunities and Problems (PUNISH2)

Venue: Sydney

Location: Sydney, Australia

Event Date/Time: Feb 07, 2013 End Date/Time: Feb 09, 2013
Registration Date: Sep 14, 2012
Abstract Submission Date: Sep 14, 2012
Paper Submission Date: Nov 23, 2012
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2nd Global Conference
Reframing Punishment: Opportunities and Problems

Thursday 7th February – Saturday 9th February 2013 Sydney, Australia

Call for Presentations:
What is Punishment? There are those who argue that it is a mechanism for managing deviance and deterring crime. Others argue that punishment is a method that balances care and restoration. While still others argue that it is a form of controlling behaviour and an effect of power. Research today is often focused on punishment in terms of offenders, the offence, the state and legal codification. Yet the French sociologist Durkheim maintained that rituals of punishment are not necessarily concerned with the criminal. He argued that punishment involved restructuring or making amends for a situation in a way that strengthened moral boundaries and demonstrated the group norm for ways of reasoning. The significance of this is that it rebuilds solidarity. More recently Smith (2008:13) has argued that ‘we should understand the tie between punishment and the social not as primarily political or administrative but rather as revolving around signifiers of order and disorder, purity and pollution, the sacred and evil as well as ritualised and regulatory efforts to influence these.’ Overall this suggests that the concept of Punishment is a site of contestation. Therefore the aim of this project is to thresh out different ways of understanding the complexity of shared understandings of punishment from a variety of perspectives, approaches and practitioner experiences. 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 the liminal. Papers might also cover punishing issues relating to defining the contours of disgust, desire, dread, or the abject. They may even 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. Presentations, papers, performances, reports and workshops are invited on issues broadly related, but not limited, to any of the following themes:

Reframing Punishment and its understanding
Abuses of Punishment
Social Order, Disorder and Punishment
Images, Art, Music and Penalties
Ritual and Punishment
Desire and Punishment (addiction, BDSM, modification, fashion, beauty)
Punishment and Pain, Fear, Death, Shame, Forgiveness, Vengeance or Retribution
Punishment in relation to Religion/spirituality and/or Transformation
TV, Movies and Punishment
Discipline, Punishment and Enforcement
Punishment and Strategies of Control in everyday life or business
Punishment, Education and/or the Family
Literature and Punishment
War and Punishment
Punishment and Popular Culture
Cultural approaches to Punishment
Changing notions of Punishment Over time or in particular Historical Periods.
Concepts used to Administer Punishment e.g. Proportionality, materiality
Theories of punishment and deviants

Please note that presentations that deal with related themes will also be considered.

What to Send:
300 word abstracts or presentation proposals should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs by Friday 14th September 2012; 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.
E-mails should be entitled: PUNISH2 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: shs@inter-disciplinary.net
Rob Fisher: punish2@inter-disciplinary.net

The conference is part of the Persons programme of research projects. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting.

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.