Disease and Crime: Social Pathologies and the New Politics of Health

18 - 19 April 2011

seminar posterToday, state-sponsored approaches to the threat of new and re-emergent diseases are increasingly being framed in terms of national "security". By the same token, anti-crime interventions are being conceptualized as emerging public health measures. Disease and Crime: Social Pathologies and the New Politics of Health considers this conflation of sickness and crime from different disciplinary perspectives, addressing, in particular, the following questions: How have disease and crime come to be equated historically? What role has global interdependence played in shaping new approaches to the identification, management and treatment of crime-as-sickness and infection-as-wrongdoing? And finally, what are the social, cultural, and political implications of the disease-crime equation?

Whilst much has been written about the origins of modern criminology in nineteenth-century evolutionary theories, physiognomy, phrenology and anthropology, few attempts have been made to explore the relationship between this historical socialization and biologization of "deviancy" and the contemporary application of medical and public health strategies of crime.

This international conference investigates the ways in which, for example, epidemiological models are being employed to map new pathologies of violence, whilst, conversely, diseases are construed as forms of novel crime. The aim is to trace the interconnections between state-sponsored responses to health and criminality from the nineteenth century to the present and from the US and the Europe to East Asia.

Registration is required for Day 02 of the conference. Please register here. The programme (in pdf format) can be found here. Please click here to download the abstracts.

Day 01 - 18 April 2011 (Monday)
17:00 - 18:15
'The Official World,' Mark Seltzer (UC, Los Angeles)

Day 02 - 19 April 2011 (Tuesday)
10:00 - 10:15
Welcome Address  Daniel K. L. Chua (School of Humanities, University of Hong Kong)
Opening Remarks  Robert Peckham (CHM, University of Hong Kong)

10:15 - 11:30
Session I
Chair: Frank Dikötter (University of Hong Kong)
- 'The Malleable Addict: Heroin Addiction, Therapeutic Treatment and Biopolitics in Southwest China,' Sandra Teresa Hyde (McGill University)
- 'The "Bad" and the "Sick": Medicalizing Deviance in China,' Børge Bakken (University of Hong Kong)
- 'Transpeople: Gender Difference, Sickness and Crime,' Sam Winter (University of Hong Kong)

11:30 – 11:45

11:45 - 13:00
Session II
Chair: Sam Winter (University of Hong Kong)
- 'Sexual Deviancies, Disease and Crime in Cesare Lombroso and the "Italian School" of Criminal Anthropology,' Chiara Beccalossi (University of Queensland)
- 'Dangerous Liaisons: Race, Gender and Prostitution in Early Colonial Hong Kong,' Carol C. L. Tsang (University of Hong Kong)
- ' "Crime Unique to Korea": Puinbyǒng, Gynecology, and Race in Colonial Korea, 1926-1932,' Jin-kyung Park (University of Toronto)

13:00 - 14:30

14:30 - 16:15
Session III
Chair: Mark Seltzer (UC, Los Angeles)
- 'Morality Plays: Presentations of Criminality and Disease in Nazi Ghettos and Concentration Camps and Beyond,' Michael Berkowitz (UCL)
- 'Pathological Properties,' Robert Peckham (University of Hong Kong)
- 'Violence and Virulence: Metaphors of Contagion in the Treatment of Bird Flu and Suburban Riots in the French Media in 2005,' Frédéric Keck (CNRS, Paris)
- 'Epidemiology and Corporate Crime in Taiwan,' Paul Jobin (CEFC, Taipei, and University of Paris Diderot)

16:15 - 16:30

16:30 - 18:00
Session IV
Roundtable Discussion

Chair: Robert Peckham (University of Hong Kong)

For more information about the international conference, please email us