Extended deadline: CFP Affective and Sensory Criminologies


Call for papers: 

Affective and Sensory Criminologies

Guest editors:

Alison Young (University of Melbourne, AUS), Juliet Rogers (University of Melbourne, AUS), Bill McClanahan (Eastern Kentucky University, USA)


From the earliest—and most disreputable—days of Lombrosian inquiry, criminology has been a discipline concerned with the visual, with the ways the worlds of crime, harm, and justice look. Those same worlds, though, are constituted in human (and post-human) experience by far more than the visual. Indeed, as criminology and other social sciences have noted, the ways in which life is lived and felt implicate smell, taste, touch, hearing, and other, less easily named senses every bit as much as seeing. From the disciplinary odours and agonies of teargas to the sounds of carceral spaces, from the tactile experiences of navigating the city to the extra-sensory atmospheres of the global climate crisis, contemporary life is conditioned by a swathe of sensory encounters with objects and images.


Criminal atmospheres are encountered through the senses. Following most clearly from Hayward’s (2012) interest in ‘more-than-representational’ and ‘acoustic’ spaces, sensory perspectives have been emerging from cultural criminology to call attention to dimensions of harm and justice as diverse as the acoustics of jails, prisons, and other carceral spaces (Russell and Carlton 2020; McKay 2016; Rae et al. 2019), multi-sensory experiences of police and carceral subjectivity (Linnemann and Turner 2020; Warr 2021), the impact of lockdown on urban spaces (Young 2020), contemporary sex work (Cooper at al. 2018), and ‘yarn-bombing’ and other forms of dissent and protest (Millie 2019). In 2020, McClanahan and South sketched an outline of an explicitly ‘sensory criminology,’ while 2021 saw the publication of Sensory Penalities, essays on the intersection of punishment and the sensory (Herrity et al. 2021). Each represents a tendency across visual and sensory criminologies to heed Young’s (2014) call to understand the visual and other sensory fields not as constituted by objects but by affective encounters.


Affective criminology recognizes that meaning derives from the affective nature of the encounter with human and non-human subjects. Although it is easy to treat ‘affect’ and ‘emotion’ as identical, they are quite distinct. Affect refers not so much to the emotional landscape of law or criminal justice but rather to the ways in which subject positions such as ‘victim’, ‘criminal’, and ‘judge’ are registered in the process of making meaning out of an event. Thus, affect and interpretation are irrevocably intertwined. Affect denotes an intensity that connects individuals to the social world in a relation that pre-exists the emotional states to which we give names such as ‘fear’, ‘anger’, ‘pleasure’, ‘outrage’, and so on. Criminological encounters are spoken through art and law, through chants and celebration, through silence and space, all of which configure conceptions of harm, crime and justice as encounters which sanction, seduce and resist.


This special issue of Criminological Encounters seeks to contribute to these increasingly robust bodies of literature on how affect and the sensory constitute important sites of criminological inquiry. We welcome any papers, photo essays, artworks, or other media interventions which further the development of a critical analysis of the ways in which the senses and affects of crime and justice condition contemporary life and which seek to enrich and enliven criminological inquiry. Submissions are encouraged from artists, photographers, and other non-academic contributors, and creativity in method, theory and presentation is encouraged. Topics of distinct interest include but are not limited to:

  • Police, technology, and the senses
  • Extra-sensory urban experience
  • Crime and post-human sensing
  • Visual and non-visual sensory methodologies
  • Criminological ontologies of affect and the senses
  • Affective atmospheres of crime, justice and the legal process
  • Surveillance and affect
  • Affect, insecurity and fear
  • The visceral and/as trauma
  • Atmospheres of crime and justice in (post) colonial contexts
  • Affective relations of resistance
  • Geography, crime, and affect


Please submit your full article following the guidelines of Criminological Encounters by 1 December 2022. Criminological Encounters publishes full original articles, but also other alternative formats such as artistic interventions, short opinion pieces, book reviews, interviews and fora (a collection of short pieces (1000-3000 words) on a topic within the boundaries of the overarching theme of the special issue). For a full description of the guidelines, please click here. We mainly work with texts in English and exceptionally accept contributions in other languages mastered by our editorial team, that is, Dutch, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian (please contact the editors-in-chief Mattias De Backer and Lucas Melgaço by sending an email to info@criminologicalencounters.org before submitting an article in languages other than English). All articles will go through the usual peer-review process with the goal of publishing the issue by the end of 2023.



Cooper, E., Cook, I. R., & Bilby, C. (2018). Sex work, sensory urbanism and visual criminology: Exploring the role of the senses in shaping residential perceptions of brothels in Blackpool. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 42(3), 373-389.

Hayward, K. (2012). Fives spaces of cultural criminology. British Journal of Criminology 52, 441-


Herrity, K., Schmidt, B. E., & Warr, J. (Eds.). (2021). Sensory Penalities: Exploring the Senses in Spaces of Punishment and Social Control. Emerald Group Publishing.

Linnemann, T., & Turner, J. (2020). Three-dimensional policeman: Security, sovereignty and volumetric police power. Theoretical Criminology, 1362480620981103.

McClanahan, B., & South, N. (2020). ‘All knowledge begins with the senses’: Towards a sensory criminology. The British Journal of Criminology, 60(1), 3-23.

McKay, C. (2016). Video links from prison: Permeability and the carceral world. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 5(1), 21-37.

Millie, A. (2019). Crimes of the senses: Yarn bombing and aesthetic criminology. The British Journal of Criminology, 59(6), 1269-1287.

Rae, M., Russell, E., & Nethery, A. (2019). Earwitnessing detention: Carceral secrecy, affecting voices, and political listening in the messenger podcast. International Journal of Communication, 13, 20.

Russell, E. K., & Carlton, B. (2020). Counter-carceral acoustemologies: Sound, permeability and feminist protest at the prison boundary. Theoretical Criminology, 24(2), 296-313.

Young, A. (2014). From object to encounter: Aesthetic politics and visual criminology. Theoretical Criminology, 18(2), 159-175.

Young, A. (2020) The limits of the city: Atmospherics of lockdown. The British Journal of Criminology, 61, 985–1004.