The double-minded revolutionary

The double-minded revolutionary

In 1884, a Russian woman by the name of Liudmila Volkenshtein was found guilty of anti-tsarist “terrorism” by a military court in St Petersburg. Her crimes were bound up with her membership in an underground group called “The People’s Will” (Narodnaia Volia), an organization that in 1881 had carried out the assassination of Tsar Alexander II. Volkenshtein herself […]

In my prison notebook

In my prison notebook

Last year I came across a rare archival find: multiple editions of a 19th century prison newspaper covertly produced by Russian inmates between 1890 and 1905. The newspaper editions, now brittle paper manuscripts fraying brown along their edges, were archived along with a note of introduction by the editor-in-chief. The editor describes the way in […]

Protection for Whom? Aboriginal rights in the Swan River Colony

Protection for Whom? Aboriginal rights in the Swan River Colony

by Kellie Moss   In June 1829, Governor James Stirling founded the Swan River Colony on the mainland of Western Australia. Whilst the hype surrounding the new colony attracted almost 2000 people to Swan River in the first year, few of these initial settlers concerned themselves with the rights of those they were dispossessing. Furthermore, […]

Sakhalin Ainu

Forced Labour and Shifting Borders

Some may argue (for good reason) that the collapse of space and time is a commonplace condition of twenty-first century life. From where I sit, however, I wonder: do many experiences symbolize the post-modern blurring of geographies and temporalities as deftly as air travel? I contemplate this admittedly non-unique yet nevertheless miraculous phenomenon—the inhabitation of […]

Sounds in the silence of political exile

Sounds in the silence of political exile

My recent discovery of Alexander Sochaczewski’s painting, Farewell to Europe!, in the Museum Pawilon-X in Warsaw compelled me to think anew about the experience of political exile and about the innate “wordlessness” that the state intended it to symbolize.  Although Sochaczewski never sold a single painting during his life, today his work is viewed by thousands of visitors who […]

Reflections on the world’s largest prison

Reflections on the world’s largest prison

Several days ago, I broke from reading through the notes of nineteenth-century Russian penal inspectors to admire the 23rd edition of the International Prison News Digest, a publication of the Institute for Criminal Policy Research. As I perused this amazing compendium, I was struck anew by the way in which certain facets of the prison […]

The Carceral Archipelago panel at the Fourth European Congress on World and Global History, 4-7 September, 2014

The Carceral Archipelago panel at the Fourth European Congress on World and Global History, 4-7 September, 2014

During the first week of September, members of our European Research Council funded project, Carceral Archipelago, attended the Fourth European Congress on World and Global History, held in Paris at the École Normale Supérieure. While at the Congress, a number of the project’s researchers had the exhilarating opportunity of presenting aspects of their research on a shared […]

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