Professor Dominique Moran DPhil

Professor Dominique Moran

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Professor in Carceral Geography

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dominique Moran’s research and teaching is in the sub-discipline of carceral geography, a geographical perspective on incarceration. Her research in the UK, Russia and Scandinavia, supported by the ESRC, has contributed to her transdisciplinary work, 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.

Dominique is Chair of the Carceral Geography Working Group of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers.

She is author of 'Carceral Geography: Spaces and Practices of Incarceration' (2015) and an editor of Historical Geographies of Prisons: Unlocking the Usable Carceral Past (2015), ‘Carceral Spaces: Mobility and Agency in Imprisonment and Migrant Detention’ (2013), and Carceral Spatiality: Dialogues between Geography and Criminology (2017). She publishes in leading journals including Progress in Human Geography, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers and Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, and Theoretical Criminology.


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;, and


Year 3 Carceral Geographies

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

Visiting Doctoral Researchers

  • Irene Marti - PhD candidate at the University of Neuchatel, and research assistant at the University of Bern, Switzerland, Irene is undertaking a six month visit to GEES to work in the Carceral Geography Lab with Dominique Moran. Her project, Living the prison: An ethnographic study of indefinite incarceration in Switzerland, is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, who have also funded her overseas institutional visit to Birmingham.

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, Peter Kraftl and Sophie Hadfield Hill)
  • Tessa Frost (ESRC Studentship) Russia Without Orphans? (with Phil Jones and Irina Kuznetsova)
  • Catherine Oliver (with Pat Noxolo)
  • Will Thurbin (with Peter Kraftl)

Completed PhDs

  • Tom Disney (ESRC Studentship) Orphan Care and Imprisonment in the Russian Federation (with Phil Jones and Jeremy Morris)
  • Eleanor Harrowell (ESRC Studentship) Mapping Memories: Improving post-conflict reconstruction through understanding collective memory of conflict (with Jon Coaffee and Adam Ramadan)
  • Thom Davies (ESRC studentship) Marginalised communities and governance in Chernobyl, Ukraine (with John Round and Rosie Day)
  • 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.

Her work to date has explored the experience of carceral spaces, and their design, the ethics of correctional architecture and the sustainability of prisons with green accreditation or ‘ecolabels’.

Current and recent projects include:

Breaking the Cycle? Prison Visitation and Recidivism in the UK is an ESRC-funded project with criminological psychologist Louise Dixon (VUW New Zealand) and Post-Doctoral Researcher Marie Hutton. This 3-year interdisciplinary project provides 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 identifies 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.

‘Fear-suffused environments’ or potential to rehabilitate? Prison architecture, design and technology and the lived experience of carceral spaces, is another ESRC-funded project, with criminologist Yvonne Jewkes, and post-doctoral researcher Jen Turner (both U.Brighton), looking at prison design in the UK, Norway and Denmark. The project 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 project studies: 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 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.

Therapeutic Environments for Youth Custody (2016-18)
This project follows an invitation from Amey/Novo to engage in the co-design of activity to inform a need they have identified in relation to creating a therapeutic environment for youth custody in their operationalisation of Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre (STC). 

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

Other activities

Dominique has recently given invited talks in the UK at the Universities of Cambridge, Glasgow, Aberystwyth and Exeter; and further afield in the Space - Society - Economy programme at the University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Bavaria; at the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies (IMES) at the University of Amsterdam, and the Centre for Criminology and Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Toronto. She also recently spoke at the Tower of London as part of the Curious connections… design and punishment ticketed event arranged by Historic Royal Palaces.

With Jen Turner (U.Liverpool), Dominique coorganised a series of sessions on carceral geography at the American Association of Geographers (AAG) annual conferences in Chicago (2015), and San Francisco (2016), and in Boston (2017) she will coorganise a further series with Austin Kocher (Ohio State) and Nick Gill (Exeter). In December 2016 she chaired the first International Conference for Carceral Geography, at the University of Birmingham.

Dominique sits on the National Advisory Board of Europe-Asia Studies, and reviews for prominent Geography journals including Progress in Human Geography, Annals of the Association of American Geographers; Environment & Planning: D; Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, leading Area Studies journals including Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics; Sociology journals including International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, and leading criminology journals such as Theoretical Criminology.

She has also refereed for the AHRC, the ESRC, the RGS-IBG, and for the UK Ministry of Justice, and as well as sitting on the ESRC’s Peer Review College, is an international peer reviewer for the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation of Georgia.


Moran, D & J Turner (2018) Turning over a new leaf: The health-enabling capacities of nature contact in prison Social Science & Medicine

Turner, J & D Moran (2018) Careful control: the infrastructure of water in carceral space Area

Moran, D, J Turner & A Schliehe (2017) Contextualising the Carceral in Carceral Geography (Response to a commentary on Conceptualising the Carceral in Carceral Geography) Progress in Human Geography

Moran, D, J Turner & A Schliehe (2017)  Conceptualising the Carceral in Carceral Geography  Progress in Human Geography DOI: 10.1177/0309132517710352 (author pre-print)

Moran, D and L Etchegoyen (2017) The virtual prison as a digital cultural object: Digital mediation of political opinion in simulation gaming.  Environment and Planning A 49(2) 448–466

Jewkes, Y & D Moran (2017) Prison Architecture and Design: perspectives from criminology and carceral geography, in Liebling, A., S. Maruna & L. McCara The Oxford Handbook of Criminology [6th edition] pp541-561

Moran, D (2017) Carceral geography and the spatialization of carceral studies, in Carrabine, E & M Brown [Eds] The Routledge International Handbook of Visual Criminology Routledge, London

Jewkes, Y, D Moran & E Slee (2017) The visual retreat of the prison: Non-places for Non-people, in Carrabine, E & M Brown [Eds] The Routledge International Handbook of Visual Criminology Routledge, London

Gill, N, D Conlon, D Moran & A Burridge (2016) Carceral circuitry: New directions in carceral geography Progress in Human Geography doi:10.1177/0309132516671823

Minke, LK, Schinkel, M, Beijersbergen, K, Damboeanu, C, Dirga, L, Dirkzwager, A, Jewkes, Y, Knight, V, Moran, D, Palmen, H, Pricopie, V, Tartarini, F, Tomczak, P, Turner, J, Vanhouche, A, & Wahidin, (2016) A Multiple perspectives on imprisonment in Europe. Nordisk Tidsskrift for Kriminalvidenskab 103(3) 311-333.

Moran, D, Y Jewkes & C Lorne (forthcoming) Designing for Imprisonment: Architectural Ethics and Prison Design  Architecture Philosophy 

Moran, D (2017) Foreword, in Turner, J & K Peters [Eds] Carceral Mobilities: Interrogating Movement in Incarceration Routledge, London 

Moran, D, M A Hutton, L Dixon & T Disney (2016) ‘Daddy is a difficult word for me to hear’: Carceral geographies of parenting and the prison visiting room as a contested space of situated fathering  Children’s Geographies 15(1) 107-121

Moran, D, J Turner & Y Jewkes (2016) Becoming big things: Building events and the architectural geographies of incarceration in England and Wales  Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 41 (4) 416–428 

Jewkes, Y & D Moran (2015) The paradox of the ‘green’ prison: sustaining the environment or sustaining the penal complex? Theoretical Criminology 19 4 451-469 

Morin, K & D Moran (2015) [Eds] Historical Geographies of Prisons: Unlocking the Usable Carceral Past Routledge, London 

Morin, K & D Moran (2015) Introduction: historical geographies of prisons: unlocking the usable carceral past, in Morin, K & D Moran (2015) [Eds] Historical Geographies of Prisons: Unlocking the Usable Carceral Past Routledge, London pp 1-13 

Moran, D (2015) Historical Carceral Geographies: Afterword, in Morin, K & D Moran (2015) [Eds] Historical Geographies of Prisons: Unlocking the Usable Carceral Past Routledge, London pp219-223 

Moran, D (2016) Carceral Geographies The Wiley – AAG International Encyclopaedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment, and Technology 

Moran, D (2015) Budgie Smuggling or Doing Bird? Human-Animal Interactions in Carceral Space: Prison(er) Animals as Abject and Subject Social and Cultural Geography  16 6 634-653 

Moran, D, Y Jewkes & J Turner (2016) Prison Design and Carceral Space in Handbook on Prisons 2nd Edn ed. Y Jewkes, J Bennett & B Crewe, Routledge, London, pp114-130 

Bogumił, Z, D Moran & E Harrowell (2015) Sacred or Secular? ‘Memorial’, the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Contested Commemoration of Soviet Repressions Europe-Asia Studies 67 9 1416-1444

Harris, C, D Moran & J R Bryson (2014) Polish Labour Migration to the UK: Data Discrepancies, Migrant Distributions and Entrepreneurial Activity Growth and Change  DOI: 10.1111/grow.12087

Moran, D & Y Jewkes (2014) ‘Green’ Prisons: Rethinking the ‘Sustainability’ of the Carceral Estate Geographica Helvetica 69 345-353

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

View all publications in research portal


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


Prison reform; prison architecture and design; therapeutic and rehabilitative approaches to custody; youth custody; imprisonment of women; penal systems of UK, Russia, Scandinavia; prison visitation and family contact; factors in recidivism; the conversion, renovation and repurposing of former prisons;  prison-community relations; imprisonment and environmental sustainability; history of imprisonment and prisons both during and after conflict.