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Reminder: Southern Criminology Seminar this Friday


The Crime and Justice Research Centre will be hosting an upcoming seminar on ‘Southern Criminology’, with speakers Professor Kerry Carrington, Professor Russell Hogg, Dr Helen Berents and Professor John Scott.

  • Date: Friday 22nd July 2016
  • When: 3.30-5pm (afternoon tea provided)
  • Venue: U214, Level 2 U Block, QUT Gardens Point Campus, 2 George St, Brisbane

Abstract: Almost 85% of the world’s population live in what might be termed the ‘global south’, comprising three continents. A large proportion of the world’s police and around half of the world’s 10.2 million prisoners are detained in the continents of the global south, across Asia, Africa, Oceania and South America. Yet criminology has concentrated mainly on problems of crime and justice in the Global North. Where criminology has taken root in the global South it has tended to borrow and adapt assumptions from northern criminology. As a result, criminologies of the south have, until recently, accepted their subordinate role in the global organisation of knowledge. This has stunted the intellectual development and vitality of criminology, both in the South, across Asia and globally.

This seminar outlines how southern criminology aims to transform criminological agendas to make them more befitting, inclusive of and responsive to the global problems of justice and security in the 21st century.  Southern criminology seeks to internationalise and democratise criminological practice and knowledge, to liberate it from its Anglophone northern bias, to renovate its methodological approaches and to inject innovative perspectives into the study of crime and global justice from the periphery. Its purpose is not to denounce but to re-orient, not to oppose but to modify, not to displace but to augment. It is primarily concerned with the careful analysis of networks and interactions linking South and North but which have been obscured by the metropolitan hegemony over criminological thought. By undertaking a series of projects of retrieval, southern criminology seeks to globalise and democratise criminological practice and knowledge, to renovate its methodological approaches and to inject innovative perspectives into the study of crime and global justice.

The seminar speakers will outline their projects of retrieval. Russell Hogg will revisit and reconsider the dominant narrative of penal modernism from the standpoint of southern penality, and to show that this may add a further layer of understanding to penal developments, past and present, in northern societies as well as contributing to our knowledge of penal trajectories, practices and cultures of particular societies of the South. Rather than homogenize or globalize penal developments, the aim is to consider how these entwined histories played out differently and produced variable effects in different settings.

Kerry Carrington outlines how internationalising the gaze of feminist criminology is a vitally important project of southern criminology. The argument is illustrated through an examination of the way gendered violence on the periphery is shaped by religious fundamentalism, histories of colonialism, patriarchal cultures and customs.

Drawing on original ethnographic research in Los Altos de Cazuca in Colombia Helen Berents analyses how violence, insecurity and fear are woven into everyday life, not in homogenising ways, but in complex ways. However, fear and violence are not all-encompassing experiences and individuals describe practices of navigation of violence that draw on positive communal experiences. She explores how, in communities where violence comes to be expected but never normalised, people navigate their everyday lives.

John Scott will discuss his planned research Torres Strait Islander peoples and crime and justice, about which surprisingly little is known. Further Torres Strait Islander peoples represent a highly distinct cultural group when compared to Aboriginal peoples of Australia.  This paper argues that the cultural traditions of the Torres Strait Islands, which includes restorative justice practices, and the unique geography of the Islands, which promotes collective efficacy, have contributed to relatively low crime rates. We argue that Torres Strait Island justice practices can inform our current understanding of restorative justice.

To register for this event, please RSVP your name and any dietary requirements to by Tuesday 19th July 2016.

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