Dr Dominique Moran DPhil

Reader in Carceral Geography

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences


Contact details

Telephone +44 (0)121 41 48013

Fax +44 (0)121 41 45528

Email d.moran@bham.ac.uk

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


Dominique Moran’s research and teaching is in the sub-discipline of carceral geography, a geographical perspective on incarceration. She currently holds over £1m of ESRC funding, for research into prison visitation and recidivism, and prison design, has recently completed an interdisciplinary ESRC research project looking into women’s experience of imprisonment in contemporary Russia. She is author of the forthcoming book 'Carceral Geography: Spaces and Practices of Incarceration' and an editor of the recent collection ‘Carceral Spaces: Mobility and Agency in Imprisonment and Migrant Detention’.

Her work is transdisciplinary, informed by and extending theoretical developments in geography, criminology and prison sociology, but also interfacing with contemporary debates over hyperincarceration, recidivism and the advance of the punitive state. She publishes in leading journals including Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers and Environment and Planning D: Society and Space.


Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education 2006 (Birmingham)

DPhil in Geography 2001 (Oxford)

BA(Hons) Class I in Geography 1995 (Oxford)


Dominique Moran studied Geography at Oxford, graduating in 1995 with a First Class BA (Hons) and the Gibbs Prize, and in 2000 with a D.Phil (thesis title: Russia's Emerging Margins - the Transition in the north of Perm oblast). Her PhD work was amongst the first to explore post-socialist transformation in the geographically marginal areas of the Russian near-North. She carried out fieldwork in former 'special settlements', part of the Stalinist Gulag, and in communities proximate to contemporary prison colonies.

She then moved to a Research Fellowship at Warwick Business School (2000-01) working on social exclusion and organisational change in the UK funded by the (then) UK Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) and the Social Exclusion Unit, before joining the International Development Department, at the University of Birmingham where she was Lecturer in Rural Poverty and Development until 2004. At IDD she carried out policy-oriented research into HIV/AIDS, governance reform and service delivery, primarily for the UK Department for International Development, and worked closely with DfID Governance Advisors in country offices.

Dominique joined the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences in 2004, and is also a member of the Global Prisons Research Network, a multi-disciplinary network for scholars worldwide researching prisons and other institutions of confinement – from the everyday life of specific institutions, to the wider political impact of penal policy changes.

Dominique held a Visiting Fellowship at the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki, in 2011.

Visit Dominique’s own carceral geography websites at www.carceralgeography.com; www.prisonspaces.com, and www.prisonvisitsandrecidivism.com


Year 3 Geographies of Incarceration

Dominique’s teaching is research-led, student-centred and has been recognised as high quality via the 2009 Head of School’s and Head of College’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Supporting Student Learning, GEES and LES, University of Birmingham.

Dominique holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (PGCert), Birmingham 2006 and has published the following peer-reviewed teaching publications:

  • Moran, D & Round, J (2010) A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma: Teaching post-socialist transformation to UK students in Moscow, Journal of Geography in Higher Education 34(2) 265-282 Available for download
  • Moran, D (2009) Teaching post-socialism, twenty years on, Planet (22) 39-41 Available for download

Postgraduate supervision

Current Doctoral Researchers

  • Ellie Slee (ESRC studentship) The role of prison architecture and aesthetics in the relationship between prisons and host communities (with Yvonne Jewkes - U. Leicester)
  • Thom Davies (ESRC studentship) Marginalised communities and governance in Chernobyl, Ukraine (with John Round and Rosie Day)
  • Eleanor Harrowell (ESRC Studentship) Mapping Memories: Improving post-conflict reconstruction through understanding collective memory of conflict (with Jon Coaffee and Adam Ramadan)
  • Peter McMenamin (AHRC Studentship) Rethinking, space, landscapes and aesthetics in conditions of contestation: The changing nature of cultural iconography in Derry, 1970-2013 (with Jon Coaffee and Sara Fregonese)
  • Joanna Zhou (Ford Foundation Studentship) Governance and Environmental Management in China (with Chris Bradley and Julian Clark)
  • Tom Disney (ESRC Studentship) Orphan Care and Imprisonment in the Russian Federation (with Phil Jones and Jeremy Morris)

Completed PhDs

  • Tihomir Topuzowski (School Studentship and Overseas College Studentship), Instrumental territorialisation of the Western Balkans (with Stefan Buzar and Lauren Andres)
  • Catherine Harris, (School Studentship) Entrepreneurship amongst Polish migrants in the West Midlands (with John Bryson)
  • Georgina Henricksen, (ESRC/CASE Studentship) Understanding the Competitiveness of Business and Professional Service Firms located in the Birmingham City-Region (with Peter Daniels)
  • Katsiaryna Padvalkava (School Studentship), Geography of Pensions and Ageing in Belarus (with John Round)
  • Chantal Hales Women's Entrepreneurship in Senegal (with John Bryson and Peter Daniels)

Doctoral research

PhD title Russia's Emerging Margins - the Transition in the north of Perm oblast'


Dominique's interdisciplinary research in carceral geography has defined a new field, engaging with criminology, legal studies, prison sociology and psychology to explore carceral practices in a variety of contexts including the UK, Finland, Norway, Denmark and the Russian Federation.

She is currently working on an ESRC grant for a project entitled 'Breaking the Cycle? Prison Visitation and Recidivism in the UK', with criminological psychologist Louise Dixon (Birmingham) and Post-Doctoral Researcher Marie Hutton. This 3-year interdisciplinary project will provide a new perspective on prison visitation and its relationship to the highly topical issue of recidivism. Macro-level statistical analysis in parallel with innovative mixed-methods research into visiting facilities will identify the nature of this relationship and its socio-spatial context, informing policy towards visitation and the design of visiting spaces, and contributing to broader debates about prisoner rehabilitation and resettlement.

She also has a new ESRC project which started in January 2014, with criminologist Yvonne Jewkes (U. Leicester), and post-doctoral researcher Jen Turner, looking at prison design in the UK, Norway and Denmark. The project, entitled ‘Fear-suffused environments’ or potential to rehabilitate? Prison architecture, design and technology and the lived experience of carceral spaces, addresses two over-arching questions – how are penal aims and philosophies (that is, what prison is ‘for’) expressed in prison architecture and design, and how effective is prison architecture, design and technology (ADT) in conveying and delivering that penal purpose? The study seeks to meet its objectives by (a) studying the process of designing new prison buildings in order to understand what it is that architects are asked to deliver and how they achieve this, and (b) studying ADT’s impacts and effects on a range of end users, focusing on the experience of occupying and moving in and around prison spaces, in relation to prisoners’ quality of life and wellbeing, perceptions of penal legitimacy, compliance with the regime, prisoner-staff relations, staff work satisfaction and so on.

Along with Mary Bosworth (Oxford), Imogen Tyler (Lancaster) and Alexandra Hall (York), she has also been awarded funding from the ESRC for a Seminar Series led by Nick Gill (Exeter) to explore everyday resistance in immigrant detention, involving international speakers from the US, Canada and Australia. The seminars run in 2012-15, with one event at GEES, University of Birmingham.

Dominique's current and previous research activities have been supported as follows:

Other activities

Dominique recently organised an ESRC seminar at the University of Birmingham. Part of a series entitled “Exploring Everyday Practice and Resistance in Immigration Detention” the theme of the seminar was “Research and the Relations between Prison and Detention”. Speakers from Kings College London, the University of Oxford, and CNRS – Université Bordeaux 3, France, spoke about the methodological issues and challenges of research in constrained contexts.

In March 2014 Dominique addressed the Centre for Criminology and Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Toronto, in their Speaker Series. Previously she has spoken at the 2013 TerrFerme Conference "Confinement viewed through the prism of the social sciences", in Bordeaux, France, at the Prisons Research Centre at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge, and at numerous UK and international University departments.

With Anna Schliehe (U. Glasgow) she is currently coorganising three themed sessions on carceral geography at the 2014 annual conference of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG).

She has previously co-organised series of linked sessions at the 2014 and 2013 Annual Meetings of the Association of American Geographers (AAG). These sessions, themed around carceral geography, supported the ongoing development of her work on carceral practices; she is currently co-editing (with Karen Morin) an book on the historical geographies of prisons and jails. Dominique co-organised a series of nine linked sessions within the 2011 AAG conference, in Seattle, WA, exploring Mobilities, Borders and Confinement, (including 'Confinement as Mobility'; 'Mobility and Exclusion' and 'Place and Fixity') following two sessions organised at the 2010 Annual Meeting in Washington DC ('Penal Experience in Comparative Perspective' and 'Inside, between and beyond carceral spaces'). Previously, she has given invited presentations in Chicago, IL, and to a World Bank/UK DfID international workshop in Dubai, UAE.

Dominique sits on the National Advisory Board of Europe-Asia Studies, and has been invited to review for prominent Geography journals including Annals of the Association of American Geographers; Environment & Planning:A; Geoforum; Geopolitics; and Gender, Place & Culture, leading Area Studies journals including Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics; Sociology journals including International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, leading criminology journals such as Theoretical Criminology; and for interdisciplinary journals such as Social Science and Medicine and International Journal of Health Geographics.

She was a member of the Scientific Committee of the TerrFerme 2013 Conference "Confinement viewed through the prism of the social sciences", Bordeaux, France; has also refereed for the AHRC, the ESRC, the RGS-IBG, and for the UK Ministry of Justice, and is an international peer reviewer for the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation of Georgia. She has recently peer-reviewed for the UK Ministry of Justice.


See a full list of key publications from 2001 onwards (PDF - 537KB) 

Moran, D (forthcoming 2015) Carceral Geography: Spaces and Practices of Incarceration. Ashgate, Farnham

Moran, D, Y Jewkes & J Turner (forthcoming 2015) Prison Design and Carceral Space in Handbook on Prisons 2nd Edn ed. Y Jewkes, J Bennett & B Crewe, Routledge, London.

Bogumił, Z, D Moran & E Harrowell (forthcoming 2015) Sacred or Secular? ‘Memorial’, the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Contested Commemoration of Soviet Repressions Europe-Asia Studies

Harris, C, D Moran & J R Bryson (forthcoming) Polish Labour Migration to the UK: Data Discrepancies, Migrant Distributions and Entrepreneurial Activity Growth and Change 

Moran, D & Y Jewkes (forthcoming 2014) ‘Green’ Prisons: Rethinking the ‘Sustainability’ of the Carceral Estate Social Geography

Jewkes, Y & D Moran (2014) Should Prison Architecture be Brutal, Bland or Beautiful? Scottish Justice Matters 2, 1, 8-11

Moran, D (2014) Leaving Behind the 'Total Institution'? Teeth, TransCarceral Spaces and (Re)Inscription of the Formerly Incarcerated Body Gender, Place & Culture 21, 1, 35-51

Moran, D, J Pallot & L Piacentini (2013) Privacy in Penal Space: Women’s Imprisonment in Russia Geoforum 47, 138-146

Moran, D, N Gill & D Conlon (Eds.) (2013) Carceral Spaces: Mobility and Agency in Imprisonment and Migrant Detention. Ashgate, Farnham ISBN 978-1-4094-4269-1

Moran, D, L Piacentini & J Pallot (2013) 'Liminal transcarceral space: Prison Transportation for Women in the Russian Federation' in Moran, D, N Gill & D Conlon (Eds) Carceral Spaces: Mobility and Agency in  Imprisonment and Migrant Detention. Ashgate, Farnham 109-126

Milhaud, O & D Moran (2013) 'Penal Space and Privacy in French and Russian Prisons' in Moran, D, N Gill & D Conlon (Eds) Carceral Spaces: Mobility and Agency in Imprisonment and Migrant Detention. Ashgate, Farnham 167-182

Moran, D, D Conlon & N Gill (2013) 'Carceral Spaces: Linking Imprisonment and Migrant Detention' in Moran, D, N Gill & D Conlon (Eds) Carceral Spaces: Mobility and Agency in Imprisonment and Migrant DetentionAshgate, Farnham 1-12

Gill, N, D Conlon & D Moran (2013) 'Dialogues across Carceral Space: Migration, Mobility, Space and Agency' in Moran, D, N Gill & D Conlon (Eds) Carceral Spaces: Mobility and Agency in Imprisonment and Migrant Detention, Ashgate, Farnham 239-248

Moran, D (2013) 'Between Outside and Inside? Prison Visiting Rooms as Liminal Carceral Spaces' GeoJournal 78 (2) 339-351 Available for download

Moran, D (2013) Carceral Geography and the Spatialities of Prison Visiting: Visitation, Recidivism and Hyperincarceration Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 31 (1) 174-190

Moran, D (2012) 'Prisoner Reintegration and the Stigma of Prison Time Inscribed on the Body' Punishment & Society 14 5 564-583

Moran, D (2012) 'Doing Time' in Carceral Space: TimeSpace and Carceral Geography Geografiska Annaler B 94, 4, 305-316

Moran, D & A Keinänen (2012) 'The ‘Inside’ and ‘Outside’ of Prisons: Carceral Geography and Home Visits for Prisoners in Finland'  Fennia - International Journal of Geography 190 (2) 62-76

Moran, D, L Piacentini & J Pallot (2012) ‘Disciplined Mobility and Carceral Geography: Prisoner Transport in Russia’ Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 37, 446-460 Available for download.  See a blog related to this publication in 'Geography Directions' 

Harris C, D Moran & J R Bryson (2012) EU Accession Migration: National Insurance Number Allocations and the Geographies of Polish Labour Immigration to the UK Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie 103 2 209-221 Available for download

Moran, D, J Pallot & L Piacentini (2012) Rikoksen ja rangaistuksen maantiede Venäjällä (Crime and Punishment in Russia)'  Idäntutkimus:The Finnish Review of East European Studies 1/2012, 3-24

Moran, D, J Pallot & L Piacentini (2011) The Geography of Crime and Punishment in the Russian Federation Eurasian Geography and Economics 52 1 79-104. Available for download from Bellwether

Pallot, J, L Piacentini & D Moran (2010) Patriotic Discourses in Russia’s Penal Peripheries: Remembering the Mordovian Gulag in Europe-Asia Studies 62 1 1-33. Available for download

Piacentini, L, J Pallot & D Moran (2009) Creating 'Malaya Rodina' (Little Homeland): Transportation, Gender and Penal Order in a Russian Prison, Social and Legal Studies 18 4 523-542. Available for download

Moran, D, J Pallot & L Piacentini (2009) Lipstick, Lace & Longing: Constructions of Femininity inside a Russian Prison, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 27 4 700-720 Available for download

Moran, D (2008) Hewn from Stone: (Re)Presenting Soviet Material Cultures and Identities. Journal of Social History, 41 3 591-610. Available for download from Project Muse

Moran, D & J A Jordaan (2007) HIV/AIDS in Russia: Determinants of Regional Prevalence. International Journal of Health Geographics 6 22. Available for download from IJ Health Geographics

Moran D (2006) "Soviet cartography set in stone: the "Map of Industrialization" Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 24 5 671-689. Available for download from Environment & Planning

Moran, D (2005) The Geography of HIV/AIDS in Russia: Risk and Vulnerability in Transition. Eurasian Geography and Economics, 46 7 525-551. Available for download from Bellwether

Moran, D (2004) Exile in the Soviet forest: 'special settlers' in northern Perm' Oblast Journal of Historical Geography, issue 2. Available for download from Science Direct

Moran, D (2001) Exile and exclusion – the legacy of Soviet forestry for villages in the north of Perm Oblast GeoJournal 54 541-547 

Moran, D (2001) Forestry villages in the Russian North – social capital and subsistence at the margins Belgeo: Revue Belge de Geographie 3 199-213

Pallot, J, & D Moran (2000) Surviving the Margins in Post-Soviet Russia: Forestry Villages in Northern Perm' Oblast Post-Soviet Geography and Economics 41 5 341-364


Prison design; prison visitation and recidivism; imprisonment in Russia; carceral space.

Back to top