Deathscapes

Sexual Violence and the Border: Colonial Genealogies of US and Australian Immigration Detention Regimes

Deathscapes

Sexual Violence and the Border: Colonial Genealogies of US and Australian Immigration Detention Regimes

Abstract

This article is concerned with delineating the material manifestations of state violence, with a particular focus on sexual violence in immigration detention prisons in the context of two settler-colonial nation states: Australia and the United States. It draws its impetus from the projected work of the late sociolegal scholar, Penny Pether, and her outline for a large-scale project on comparative regimes of indefinite detention. In our article, wepursue an exchange between the draft of Pether’s first chapter, ‘Beginning Again’, for her
projected book, and elements of a transnational project titled ‘Deathscapes: Mapping Race and Violence in Settler States’ that we initiated in partnership with colleagues in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. We track these linkages in order to argue that these similar, if often different, colonial histories both inform and continue to shape contemporary regimes of detention and their reproduction of sexual violence and assault against their captive populations.

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