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Anastasia Chamberlen


I joined Warwick in March 2016. Before that, I was a lecturer in Criminology at Birkbeck, University of London. I completed a BA (Hons) degree in History and Sociology at the University of Warwick, a MPhil in Criminology at the University of Cambridge, and a Ph.D. on the areas of gender and punishment at the Law School at King’s College London.

Research interests

My research interests lie in the areas of theoretical criminology, the sociology of punishment and prisons, feminist theory and theoretical debates in the study of emotions, embodiment and health. My work is usually empirically informed and it broadly covers themes such as the lived experiences of imprisonment; the embodied aspects of women’s survival strategies in prison; marginalization, vulnerability and stigma in criminal justice; and the relationship between emotions and the motivation to punish. Most recently, my work has moved to explore the role of the arts in expressing state violence and punishment.

Current Research Projects

Captive Arts: Curating the Curious Symbiosis Between the Arts & Imprisonment (Principal Investigator - AHRC Research, Development & Engagement Fellowship 2023-2025)

This project seeks to conceptually and empirically understand the relationship between the arts and imprisonment. It investigates who are prisoner artists and how their experiences of imprisonment shape their identities, artistic outputs, and their reception within and beyond prison walls. It is interested in locating the role that the arts play in contemporary criminal justice objectives and their role especially in the delivery of punishment and its effects. For a recent research talk on this see here and for examples of how this project is incorporated into my teaching see here.

The Vulnerable State: Appraising the Ambivalent Economies of State Power (Co-Investigator - Leverhulme Trust Research Grant 2023-2027)

This project led by Prof. Ana Aliverti where I'm co-I with Dr. Henrique Carvalho will explore the ambivalent emotional and affective economies of state power in the governance of social marginality. Through empirical and legal methodologies, the project will trace the conflicting logics, emotions, and affects in the treatment of socially marginalised groups in the criminal and administrative justice domains. My focus in this project will concern the experiences of prison and probation employees working with vulnerable groups. For more details on the project and current opportunities see here.

Past Research Projects

Theorising Punitiveness Within and Beyond Criminal Justice

This a collaborative project that examines our contemporary urge to punish and the phenomenon of punitiveness. The aim of the project is to challenge the rationale behind the normative justifications for punishment, and to propose a more holistic and trans-disciplinary theory and critique of punitivity. The Journal Social & Legal Studies has funded events on this project which were hosted by the Warwick Criminal Justice Centre. More details of past events and discussions on this project can be seen here. More recently, this project has evolved into a monograph titled Questioning Punishment (Routledge 2023). A list of articles from this project can be seen below.

Addressing the Prisons Crisis

This project was supported by Warwick's ESRC Impact Acceleration Account and by a smaller Creative Exchange fund. It involved organising a series of activities in 2017 and 2018 that sought to raise public engagement and knowledge on the experience of imprisonment, the politics around punishment and what has recently been termed as a 'crisis' in English prisons. Some details and videos from the most recent event on the prison crisis are here. Related publications from this project can be found at a Special Issue (2019) on the Prison Crisis at the Prison Service Journal. 

Embodying Punishment: Emotions, Identities and Lived Experiences in Women’s Prisons

Drawing from qualitative research with women prisoners and former prisoners, this study theoretically and empirically explores women's experiences of punishment. It advances a post-Cartesian study of lived experience in prisons and it shows how the prisoner’s body is central to her experience of pain, deprivation and punishment during and after custody. Findings from this project have been published at Theoretical Criminology, Feminist Criminology and in a monograph at the Clarendon Studies in Criminology Series, Oxford University Press. For a review of the book click here.



Chamberlen, A (2018) Embodying Punishment: Emotions, Identities and Lived Experiences in Women’s Prisons, Clarendon Studies in Criminology Series, Oxford University Press.

  • Awarded the British Society of Criminology Book of the Year Prize 2019. See here

Chamberlen, A. and Carvalho, H. (2023) Questioning Punishment. London: Routledge. See here

Aliverti, A., Carvalho, H., Chamberlen, A., and Sozzo, M. (eds. 2023) Decolonizing the Criminal Question: Colonial Legacies, Contemporary Problems. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Available Open Access. See here

Chamberlen, A. and Bandyopadhyay, M. (eds. forthcoming 2024). Geographies of Gendered Punishment: Women’s Imprisonment in Global Context, London: Palgrave.

Aliverti, A., Carvalho, H., Chamberlen, A. & Tawfic, S. (eds. forthcoming 2025). The Embodied State: Emotions, State Power & Social Marginalisation, London: Routledge.

Special Issues Edited

  • Carvalho, H., Chamberlen, A. and Duff, A. (eds.) (2019) 'The Problem of Punishment: Renewing Critique', Social & Legal Studies, Vol. 28 (1). ViewLink opens in a new window
  • Chamberlen, A. Weinberg, C. and Dockley, A. (eds.) (2019) 'Special Edition on the Prison Crisis', Prison Service Journal, 243. Available OA: View

Peer Reviewed Articles & Book Chapters

  • Chamberlen, A. and Carvalho, H. (2022) 'Feeling the Absence of Justice: Notes on our Pathological Reliance on Punitive Justice', Howard Journal of Crime and Justice. Vol. 61 (1) pp 87-102. View
    • Awarded the best article prize 2022 by the Journal's editors: details here
  • Aliverti, A., Carvalho, H., Chamberlen, A., Sozzo, M. (2021) 'Decolonising the Criminal Question', Punishment and Society, Vol. 23(3) 297-316. View
  • Carvalho, H. Chamberlen, A. and Lewis, R. (2020) 'Punitiveness Beyond Criminal Justice: Punishable and Punitive Subjects in an Era of Prevention, Anti-migration and Austerity', British Journal of Criminology. ViewLink opens in a new window
  • Chamberlen, A. and Carvalho, H. (2019) 'Punitiveness and the Emotions of Punishment: Between Solidarity and Hostility', in M. H. Jacobsen and S. Walklate (eds.), Towards a Criminology of Emotions (London: Routledge).
  • Carvalho H., Chamberlen A. & Duff, A. (special issue eds.) (2019) 'Introduction to the Special Issue The problem of Punishment: Renewing Critique', Social & Legal Studies. Vol. 28 (1). View
  • Chamberlen, A., Weinberg, C., & Dockley, A. (2019) 'Is there a Prison Crisis? Thinking Creatively and Dialogically about Prison's Old and New Problems', Prison Service Journal, 243. View
  • Chamberlen, A. and Carvalho, H. (2019) 'The Thrill of the Chase: Punishment, Hostility and the Prison Crisis', Social & Legal Studies. Vol. 28 (1), pp. 100-117. View
  • Carvalho, H. and Chamberlen, A. (2018) 'Why Punishment Pleases: Punitive Feelings in a World of Hostile Solidarity', Punishment and Society Vol 20 (2), pp. 217-234. View
  • Chamberlen, A. (2017) 'Changing Bodies, Ambivalent Subjectivities, and Women’s Punishment', Feminist Criminology, 12( 2) pp. 125-144. View
  • Carvalho, H. and Chamberlen, A. (2016) ‘Punishment, Justice and Emotions’ in M. Tonry (ed), Oxford Handbooks Online (Criminology and Criminal Justice, Punishment Theories). View 
  • Chamberlen, A. (2016) ‘Embodying Prison Pain: Women's' self-injury practices in prison and the emotions of punishment’, Theoretical Criminology 20(2), pp 205-219. View
    • Awarded the British Society of Criminology’s Women, Crime and Criminal Justice Network Article Prize 2017 and the 2018 Young Criminologist of the Year Award by the European Society of Criminology. Details here.

Other Publications & Media

  • Chamberlen, A. (2019) 'Interview: The Chief Inspector of Prisons, Peter Clarke Reflects on Recent Problems in Prisons', Prison Service Journal, 243. View
  • Chamberlen, A. (2019) 'Building Up to Today's Prison Crisis: An Interview with the Former Chief Inspector of Prisons, Nick Hardwick', Prison Service Journal, 243. View
  • Chamberlen, A. and Weinberg, C. (2019) 'Crises of Selfhood and Expressions of Punishment: A conversation with Psychotherapist Susie Orbach', Prison Service Journal, 243. View
  • Chamberlen, A. (2017) 'Life Behind Bars: Can Prison be Better than this?', ESRC Blog: Shaping Society. view here
  • Chamberlen, A. (2017) 'Beyond Bars: A Festival of Talent and Hope', Inside Time: The National Newspaper for Prisoners and Detainees (28 July 2017). view here 
  • Chamberlen, A. (2016) 'The real prison crisis is the damage the system does to its prisoners' , The Conversation. View. Re-published at the prisoners' national newspaper , Inside Time in January 2017 view here.
  • Chamberlen, A. (2016) 'Critiquing Carceral Societies through Sur les Toits', in “Sur les Toits”: A Symposium on the Prison Protests in Early 1970s France, Antipode,available here.
  • Chamberlen, A. (2015) ‘Book Review: Just Emotions: Rituals of Restorative Justice’ in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Vol. 15(3) pp. 378–383.
  • Chamberlen, A. (2014) ‘Book Review: The Politics of the Body’, in Gender and Society.
  • Chamberlen, A. (2011) ‘Book Review: Debating Obesity: Critical Perspectives’ in Sociology of Health and Illness, Vol. 33, Issue 6, pp. 966-967.

Areas of Research Supervision

  • The Sociology of Punishment; The Sociology of Prison Life
  • Gender and Criminal Justice; Feminist Critiques of Criminal Justice
  • Critical and Radical Criminology; the emotions and the politics of punishment
  • Health and Vulnerability in Criminal Justice; Studies on Identities, Subjectivities, Emotions, Lived Experiences, Bodies or Embodiment; Qualitative Research in Criminology.

Recently Completed Ph.Ds

Lucia Bracco Bruce

Project: "Burriers’ Matters, Femininities, and Drug-Trafficking: A case study of Women Imprisoned for Drug Trafficking in Peru" funded by the Chancellor's International Scholarship.Co-supervised with Prof. Ann Stewart.

Erika Herrera Rosales

Project: "When Migrants are not Human: Victim Discourse of Central America Migrants in Mexico", funded by the Chancellor's International Scholarship. Co-supervised with Prof. Gurminder K. Bhambra.

Jessica Collier

Project: "Gendered Identity and Art Psychotherapy with Women in Prison", supported by the Central and NW London Foundation Trust NHS for a Ph.D by published works.

Vasiliki Louka

Project: "The Violent Truth: A comparative, long-term study of collective violence from armed conflicts in Europe" funded by an AHRC Midlands4Cities Scholarship. External Supervisor for Leicester University. Co-supervised with Prof. Richard Thomas and Dr. Joanna Appleby.

Current Ph.D researchers

Puja-Arti Patel

Project: "The moral emotions of street-level bureaucrats working with religious minority asylum seekers from Pakistan and Afghanistan in west and northwest India" funded by the Leverhulme Trust (The Vulnerable State Project). Co-supervised with Prof. Ana Aliverti & Dr. Henrique Carvalho. See here

Belinda Rawson

Project:"The Punitive-Humanitarian Complex in asylum claims processes and juridical outcomes in the UK" funded by the Leverhulme Trust (The Vulnerable State Project). Co-supervised with Prof. Ana Aliverti & Dr. Henrique Carvalho. See here.

Feyza Macit

Project: "Transnational Penal Power, Colonialism and Carceral Geographies: Exploring Immigration Detention in Lampedusa Island and Libya", funded by the EUTOPIA Co-tutelle Programme Scholarship. Co-supervised with Prof. Ana Aliverti and Dr. Benoit Henriet.

Malcolm MacQueen

Project: 'Philosophy in Prison: Critical Pedagogy and Marginal Standpoints', funded by an ESRC 1+3 Scholarship. Co-supervised with Dr. Emma Williams.

Teaching (on research leave 2023/24)

Punishment, Justice and Control - Final Year (Year 3/4) Undergraduate. Optional


Associate Professor of Sociology

Co-director Centre for the Study of Women and GenderLink opens in a new window


Telephone: (0)24 765 23037

Room: D0.19, Sociology Department, Social Sciences Faculty

Twitter: @A_Chamberlen

Embodying Punishment Book CoverLink opens in a new window

Questioning Punishment CoverLink opens in a new window

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Past Events Organised

Tate Exchange Human LibraryLink opens in a new window