Call for papers per Social Justice su Punishment and History

Pubblichiamo una call for papers per la rivista “Social Justice” sulla tematica Punishment and history. I contributi devono essere inviati entro il 15 gennaio 2017. Lo Special Issue è curato da Ashley Rubin, University of Toronto (

Call for Papers

Social Justice on Punishment and History

Deadline: 15 January 2017

Special Issue Editor: Ashley Rubin

Periods of penal transition often encourage historical reflection, whether to understand the present situation of crisis and/or change, or to learn from past strategies and mistakes. As conversations about mass incarceration in the United States increasingly revolve around change, and societies around the world face distinctive sets of challenges in the field of punishment and social control, historical interrogations of punishment may be especially relevant.

This special issue of Social Justice on the topic of punishment and history will interrogate the role of history in the study of punishment, illuminating its utility and limitations for understanding penal change. In particular, we aim to identify the utility of historical examinations of punishment for understanding the current constellation of inequalities, (dis)empowerment, and suffering wrought by contemporary criminal justice policy and practice. Thus, rather than seeking the historical origins of mass incarceration, this issue examines how penal history, broadly intended, might provide lessons for understanding punishment as a social institution and its consequences for society, especially society’s most vulnerable members.

The issue will try to answer the following questions: What is the role of history in interdisciplinary, especially sociological or sociolegal, studies of punishment? What lessons do historical instances of punishment reveal for the current penal climate and current penal practices? How do conceptions of what constitutes punishment, or what punishment should accomplish, change across time and space? How do our own understandings of punishment shift when we examine these other conceptions? How does punishment’s impact on inequalities across class, race, gender, and sexuality change (or persist) in different temporal-spatial contexts?

This issue will rely on broad conceptions of punishment and history. Scholars are invited to examine some element or type of punishment, including policing and quasi-punishments (such as those imposed upon immigrants, welfare recipients, and others), whether imposed officially or unofficially, by state or non-state actors. There is no restriction on the time period examined, provided that some period before 2000 receives significant attention within the manuscript. Papers may be fully historical (e.g., examining only a past period with little relation to current practices) or more genealogical (e.g., discussing the relevance of past events to the present situation). Additionally, any methodology (qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods) is welcome. Finally, papers may examine any geographical setting (e.g., there is no preference for US or North American settings and no restriction on local, national, or international units of analysis).

Papers should be 7,000 to 8,000 words. Please follow the format guidelines available on the Social Justice website ( Your submission should be emailed to Ashley Rubin at by January 15, 2017.



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