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Under Siege: Black Women, the Choreography of Law, and the Public Carceral Sphere


This project endeavors to make an intervention in the discourse of carceral analysis by unapologetically placing the experiences of Black women at center while moving beyond the concrete and barbed wire walls of State and Federal prison facilities to explore the ways in which the public sphere is transformed into a carceral space. Approaching incarceration in this way illuminates areas that are not often considered when imprisonment is the subject matter at hand. Gendering the phenomenon of incarceration also permits carcerality to be conceptualized in alternative and various geographical spaces and locations, as opposed to being limited to static institutional facilities. As this project progresses, Black women, as opposed to law or Black men, are centered so as to highlight the gendered limitations of much of the current analysis regarding carcerality, as well as the ways in which Black women have been deeply marginalized, if not completely rendered invisible in some instances, in “the New Jim Crow.” As a result of centering Black women, what this project endeavors to prove is that our understanding of carcerality must shift and, moreover, that the very idea of carcerality itself is constituted at the intersection of race, gender, citizenship, and geography, and therefore must be understood together.

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