SCCJR Seminar: Atmospheres of Lockdown – A Criminological Agenda

Atmospheres of Lockdown: A Criminological Agenda

Speaker: Professor Alison Young, University of Melbourne

Chaired by Dr Alistair Fraser, SCCJR Director, University of Glasgow

Criminological engagement with urban environments has burgeoned, including investigations into our sense of urban places and into the atmospheres of crime and justice. This paper will discuss the criminological challenges of understanding cities under lockdown in the covid-19 pandemic. Lockdowns conjoin public health initiatives and crime control to restrict the location and activities of citizens.

Drawing on textual and ethnographic exploration of lockdown in Melbourne, Australia, the presentation will examine how we make meaning in lockdown through processes of sensory and spatial interpretation. Such an approach exposes both atmospheres of control, through the criminalisation of everyday activities, and also numerous instances of its subversion, through resistance to and adaptation of the spatial and sensorial characteristics of lockdown.

The paper will argue for the importance of the sensory as a means of (re)imagining cities, after lockdown ends.

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