In the context of heightened human mobility and increasing efforts to control and restrict mobility and settlement, this panel seeks to expand the ways of understanding confinement - both as a category of practice and a category of analysis.
While confinement is often understood as the deprivation of liberty and restriction of mobilities, it is not tantamount to stagnation and paralysis. Confinement is today exercised in a diversity of contexts, spaces, and institutions. Penal institutions, immigration detention centres, retirement homes, psychiatric wards, electronic monitoring, house arrest and curfews are but a few examples of the variety of forms that confinement may take on. Paradoxically, measures of confinement appear to be used to control human mobility and settlement more than ever, while they also often produce forced mobilities and circulation between diverging sites of confinement. What does it then mean to be confined? And, what does it mean to study confinement? To what extent is confinement useful as an analytical concept and a frame of analysis? If confinement is applied not just to spaces and circumstances of restraint under coercive and/or punitive conditions, but also to more mobile conditions that complicate its traditional underpinnings, then does this development not demand a more nuanced understanding of confinement? This panel seeks to advance conceptual understandings of confinement, following previous Anthropology Confinement Network panels that explored its methodological (2014), ethical (2016) and experiential aspects (2916). We thus encourage submissions that explore different ways of understanding confinement as a category of practice and a category of analysis.