By Florence Bernault
Over the final 30 years, a considerable literature at the heritage of yank and ecu prisons has constructed. This assortment is without doubt one of the first in English to build a historical past of prisons in Africa. themes contain precolonial punishments, residing stipulations in prisons and mining camps, ethnic mapping, modern refugee camps, and the political use of legal from the period of the slave alternate to the Rwandan genocide of 1994.
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Peter Zinomann's work on prisons in colonial Vietnam presents striking parallels with the present collection. He shows in particular how the use of premodern forms of punishment in the colonial penitentiary fueled Vietnamese resistance to the colonial state. P. Zinoman, The Colonial Bastille: A History of lmprisonment in Vietnam, 1862-1940 (Berkeley: University ofCalifomia Press, 2001). 12. On social control, read the classic study of "total institutions" by E. Goffman, Asylums: Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and Other lnmates (Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company, 1962), and further discussions in S.
Morris and D. , The Oxford History of the Prison: The Practice of Punishnzent in Western Society (New York and Oxford: (Jxford University Press, 1998) partly fills this ~ap but does not investigate the non-western prison. The Politics of Enclosure in Co/onial and Post-Colonial Africa 41 I 0. w:ipline and Punish, 297-308. He describcd how penal incarceration gave birth to a continuuin of disciplining institutions (asylums, refonnatory schools, military garrisons) that uscd extrapenal incarceration to mold the mind and the body according to the norms of the bureaucratic society.
But also with the memory of colonial ri~~s of Jlt'''·er. nlike ,,·estern penitentiaries. the colonial prison system did not incarcerate delinquents according to a single judicial register: nor did it subject criminals to a standard regime of punishment. On the contrary, it sought to maintain the racial and juridical hierarchies upon which colonial rule was founded, thus reproducing a violent" personalized, and circumscribed power. After the conquest.. European rulers never stopped privileging physical reclusion and fixation as a method of control over Africans.
A History of Prison and Confinement in Africa by Florence Bernault