Type: Public event

Living in a carceral state

Part of the Behind Walls, Beyond Discipline: Science, Technology, and the Carceral State webinar series


Chris Gilliard (Macomb Community College), Ursula Rao (Univ. of Leipzig), Carolyn Sufrin (Johns Hopkins Univ.), John Carson (Univ. of Michigan)

Date & time

Jun 11, 2021, 12:00 pm EDT


This is a Virtual Event.

The twenty-first century carceral state inspires anxieties of a national or even global-scale panopticon. Omniscient and omnipresent technologies report our movements, purchases, communications, and even desires to invisible and unaccountable corporations and government agencies (the public/private distinction having lost effective meaning). In practice, however, some people are obviously more vulnerable to coercive state power than others; intrusive surveillance techniques predate the Internet; and socio-technical systems routinely fail. Moreover, while middle-class consumers fret over exposure of their digital lives, prisoners labor in the shadows of material walls that obstruct democratic oversight. This panel investigates the experiences of the state’s target populations to better understand the mundane ways people negotiate, evade, reproduce, and resist carceral infrastructures.


  • Chris Gilliard, Macomb Community College
  • Ursula Rao, University of Leipzig 
  • Carolyn Sufrin, Johns Hopkins University
  • Chaired by John Carson, Associate Professor, History, U-M

Behind Walls, Beyond Discipline: Science, Technology & the Carceral State

Behind Walls, Beyond Discipline: Science, Technology, and the Carceral State is a series of weekly events held virtually every Friday between May 14 and June 11, 2021 at noon Eastern. Events include a featured conversation with Keith Breckenridge, three panels that bring together international experts to discuss a single theme, and discussion of the film El Panóptico Ciego. Discussions will draw from short, pre-recorded talks which will be available to registrants two weeks before each event. Attendance at each event's webinar requires separate registration. This event is sponsored by the Ford School's Science, Technology, and Public Policy program and LSA's Science, Technology, and Society program. For more information, and a full list of co-sponsors, visit myumi.ch/stscarceral

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