2019 03 23 prison1
Dates and Location
3–4 October 2019
Center for Urban History of East Central Europe, Lviv, Ukraine 
The idea of this workshop is to look at prisons as essentially public spaces, which are part of the urban fabric despite their closed structure. We aim to discuss penal prisons as a historical microcosm of urban societies and examine their contemporary re-usage. Historically, modern spaces of incarceration formed a part of the implementation of penal codices as legal practice, so prisons were often located close to court buildings. Although peripheral within the 19th century urban structures, most prisons became central locations in the 20th century. The workshop invites scholars to explore the dynamics between the practices of exclusion and the specific web of social relations created among the inmates and prison administration. Our goal is to go beyond the narrative of disciplining as the Foucauldian model of control monopolized by the state and internalized by the inmates. Rather, the workshop will examine the prison as a space of negotiation between various actors, including not only those acting on behalf of the state (such as guards, priests, medics), but also legal actors and inmates themselves, who have agency (albeit limited) to use the prison for their own purposes. While prisons have been conceptualized as symbolical and metaphorical places representing the state, we are rather interested in the specific urban settings of spaces of incarceration, and the interactions and configurations between the players involved.