About this project
Amidst the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, photographs of prisoners held at gunpoint in the baking sun, evacuated after days locked precariously in flooded cells, were especially shocking. When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas in 2017 dramatic aerial photographs showed the flooded state prison. The Climate Crisis has increased the vulnerability of prisoners, though periodic flooding of Angola Prison, Louisiana, since 1927 demonstrates historical precedent. If photography powerfully depicts natural disasters, images of incarcerated flood victims form an unexplored area in its historiography. Does print and online media depict uniformed prisoners to raise or reduce sympathies? Are images of flooded prisons aestheticizing, sensationalist, or exploitative? And what role does the Climate Crisis play in mediating audience responses to the incarcerated flood victim? With the Katrina photographs as a focus, this project will analyse photographs of American prisoners in flood situations in contemporary media and explore historical, and geographical, parallels.
The successful candidate will join a vibrant, interdisciplinary research environment at the University of Hull's Cultures of Incarceration Centre (CIC) which is proud of its growing postgraduate community.
For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Barnaby Haran.
About the 'Transatlantic Cultures of Incarceration’ research cluster
Based in the Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education, the Cultures of Incarceration Centre explores creative responses to the experience of incarceration across cultures and continents, with ‘incarceration’ applied to a host of historical and contemporary contexts, including prisons, pandemics, and modern slavery. Our work informs wider discussions of race, class, gender, humanity, and citizenship in countries across the world, and pioneers new interdisciplinary ways of working with colleagues from across subject areas and in collaboration with external partners and stakeholders.
Our students will play an active role in the Centre, whether by supporting the Centre’s research seminar programme, producing podcasts connected to student research projects, or mentoring MA Incarceration Studies students. Cultures of Incarceration Centre students receive expert supervision from a dedicated team of supervisors, and also benefit from access to pastoral and career mentoring opportunities. Students enjoy dedicated workspace within our on-campus resource room and at the Wilberforce Institute for Slavery and Emancipation, based in Hull’s historical city centre.
Click here to watch a recording of our recent webinar about this funded postgraduate research opportunity. You'll hear from programme leaders, supervisors, and students and listen to queries from other applicants in the Q&A.
Other PhDs in this cluster
Modern Slavery in Literature: Searching for the Subaltern
Modern Slavery in Film: Producing and Representing Exploitation
Creative Practice & Incarceration: Writing Maternity Diaries
‘Shut up’: Pandemic Lockdowns and Health Inequalities, 1600 to present