This symposium will explore practices through which individuals and groups of people, deemed to be dangerous, undesirable, or diseased, have been forcibly excluded from civil society in places of isolation over the past two centuries.
While most studies of exclusion focus on a single jurisdiction, period, or form of isolation, this colloquium will bring together a multi-disciplinary team of scholars with expertise in both historic and contemporary forms of exclusion in Europe, North America, Japan, South Africa, Australia, India, Argentina, Palestine and the former Soviet Union.
Participants will examine the topic of isolation from distinct disciplinary perspectives (history, sociology, anthropology, political science, geography, criminology). Together they will address the following questions:
How do practices of exile and containment differ from each other and over time?
Which populations have been isolated? How has their composition changed? (for example: lunatics; refugees; native peoples; the infectious).
How have isolation strategies been rationalised and how have they been contested? (for example: isolating people is a matter of debate, not a matter of fact).
How do places of exclusion figure in wider communities' imagination (for example: as visible sites of punishment, as places remote and unseen, yet known).
What renders places undesirable? (for example: gender segregation; crime and its punishment; disease and its treatment).
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