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Products for grant HB-50283-13

A History of Prison Architecture and Punishment in Colonial Senegal
Dior Konate, South Carolina State University

Grant details:

"The Geography of Punishment: Prison Location in Senegal." (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: "The Geography of Punishment: Prison Location in Senegal."
Author: Dior Konate
Abstract: This paper looks at the geographical locations of colonial prisons as metaphors for spatial order, social control, and labor policies. It sheds light on the politics and economy of prison location in French Senegal. In 1820, the French opened the first prison. However by 1900, prisons mushroomed rapidly and their chosen locations were evident in the toll they exacted on the colony’s landscape. Prisons were anchored around early towns, forts, commercial enclaves, trading posts, and colonial towns. By 1960, when Senegal became independent, there were a total of thirty-six prisons. This paper argues that the thoughtful locations of prisons served several purposes; prison sites created a sense of ‘territoriality’ and became a metaphor for a spatial order.
Date: 7/21/2016
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: The Institute of Contemporary History (IHC/NOVA University) and the Aljube Museum – Resistance and Freedom wish to mark the 80th anniversary of the inauguration of the Tarrafal prison camp in Cape Verde by organising a conference on the historiography of political incarceration in European colonies in the 20th century. The organizers welcome new research on the prisons and prisoner camps in former British, French, Dutch, Belgian, German and Portuguese colonial territories, as well as comparative and transnational perspectives on colonial incarceration in general. A selection of conference papers will be included in a special issue of an international peer reviewed journal.

Prison Architecture and Punishment in Colonial Senegal (Book)
Title: Prison Architecture and Punishment in Colonial Senegal
Author: Dior Konate
Abstract: For the past four decades a rich scholarship has investigated the emergence of the prison in Europe and North America, mainly the connection between institutional architecture, techniques of social control, and mechanisms of discipline. Prison Architecture and Punishment in Colonial Senegal asks if these connections did exist in colonial Senegal since prisons in Africa had never been the focus of such scholarship. This book addresses three main themes. First, it analyzes prison buildings and their changing architectural forms throughout the colonial period to highlight how the French used prison architecture to control Africans. Second, it describes the connections between the internal layout of prison spaces and punishment to show how the design of prisons expressed the notions of punishment and reforms. The book also undertakes a critical assessment of inmates’ agency in reshaping the world of prisons in colonial Senegal. Finally, it discusses the legacy of colonial prisons in independent Senegal. By examining the history of prison architecture in colonial Senegal, the book adds a new dimension to the processes and motives behind the production of architectural styles in colonial Africa and help insert Africa into a more global history by providing a uniquely comparative study of colonialism, architecture, and punishment.
Year: 2018
Primary URL:
Access Model: Hardback and E-Book.
Publisher: Lexington Books. An Imprint of Rowman and Littlefield
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 9781498560146
Copy sent to NEH?: Yes