Behind Walls, Beyond Discipline:

Science, Technology & the Carceral State

Webinar Series

University of Michigan — Ann Arbor

May 14 -June 11, 2021


Please register for events and watch the panelists' pre-recorded talks on the 'Event Schedule' page in advance of the Webinar discussion. Zoom events will be discussion only, talks will not be re-presented live.

Science and technology lie at the heart of the carceral state. Matters of modern law and order rely on state-of-the-art technoscience as ideological and practical resources. Scientific theories about human behavior influence legal interpretations of guilt, sanity, violence, and innocence. Biometric sensors, cameras, tasers, and electronic ankle bracelets surveil, discipline, control, punish, and contain populations. This conference brings together an international group of science and technology studies (STS) scholars—humanists and social scientists who have developed analytic tools and perspectives for systematically understanding the reciprocal relationships between science, technology, politics, and society—to rigorously address one of the major social justice and human rights issues of our times.

Behind Walls, Beyond Discipline mobilizes an international comparative perspective to interrogate a number of fundamental questions: How do forensic ideals of evidentiary truth and legal ideals of guilt, innocence, and punishment shape scientific and technical expertise and vice versa? What kinds of carceral technologies are being produced and what worlds do they imagine? How must citizens and societies remake themselves in order to fit these new technologies? In what ways are the visions of development and progress articulated in our innovation policies based upon long-standing forms of social and political subjugation and containment? What are the technological, ideological, and legal connections between patrolling national borders and policing domestic populations? How do people evade, resist, and endure carceral technologies and expertise? Our goal is to encourage deeper investigations of the role of science and technology in shaping the carceral state while also inspiring research on how the carceral state has influenced science and innovation.

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 availableto registrants two weeks before each event. Attendance at each event's webinar requires separate registration-please see 'Event Schedule' page for registration links.

All events to be held remotely.

Registration is by panel- be sure to register for every panel you want to attend

Co-organized by the Science, Technology, and Society Program and the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program