The 2019 International Roundtable on the topic “Incarceration (Un)Interrupted: Reclaiming Bodies, Lands, and Communities will be held October 9-12, 2019

Videos of police brutality across the globe… Images of immigrants in cages in the southern United States… News stories of Indigenous people creating an “encampment” to live together along a street in Minneapolis…

Early conversations about a potential theme for the 2019 International Roundtable took place in a context filled with explosive rhetoric about Latinx immigrants and Black protests about violent systems of policing, accompanied by the circulation of vivid images, videos, and narratives on social media. In this context, it was not surprising that the theme of confinements emerged, as campus community members expressed a desire to better understand connections between mass incarceration, immigrant detention and deportation, and the removal of indigenous peoples from their lands. As the Kofi Annan Institute for Global Citizenship partnered with the Department of Multicultural Life to open up brainstorming sessions for the IRT, student, staff, and faculty participants raised questions about the rapidly growing numbers of people confined across the globe; transnational networks for managing populations through global technologies of surveillance and control; the rise of the carceral state; connections to histories of the exploitation of labor and bodies and genocidal practices of removing indigenous peoples from their lands; histories and forms of resistance; and much more. The process of developing the International Roundtable has raised other questions about the relationships between academic scholarship and analyses from communities most affected by practices of confinement. The planning team pondered how to create conversations between those who are directly impacted and those who are working to understand the issues from a greater distance. The planning conversations have brought to the surface basic questions about the role of academic institutions in addressing key social and political issues. As we create spaces for learning and discussing, what is our role in making changes to unjust systems? How is the creation of “safe” and “excellent” places for learning related to practices of setting aside and removing communities who are deemed dangerous (to the nation and “good” citizens)?

We are excited to learn from the plenary speakers and student-led sessions, and to engage in the community-based workshop on Saturday. We have made no attempt to cover all issues or approaches to the broad theme of Incarceration (Un)Interrupted: Reclaiming Bodies, Lands, and Communities. Instead, we hope that the 2019 International Roundtable provides space for learning—and for generating ways to continue to engage after the end of the formal program. We invite you to join us in continuing to decide: what do we do now?

more information about the 2019 International Roundtable


Every October, Macalester hosts the International Roundtable, a community-wide and globally-focused forum exploring critical issues from a variety of perspectives. Macalester invites speakers, academics, practitioners, community members and performers to offer their work and experiences to galvanize student engagement and prompt global thinking through plenary sessions, student-led workshops, and campus-wide activities.

For more information, contact Donna Maeda, .