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Anastasia Chamberlen

Associate Professor of Sociology

Director of Postgraduate Taught Programmes


Telephone: (0)24 765 23037

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

Feedback and Advice Hours: book here via MS Bookings

Twitter: @A_Chamberlen


I joined Warwick in March 2016. Before that, I was a lecturer in Criminology at Birkbeck, Univeristy of London and previously taught modules in criminology and criminal justice, gender, social research methods and the sociology of health and illness at the London School of Economics and at King’s College 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. in Law/Criminology at King’s College London.


  • 2019 British Society of Criminology Book Prize for Embodying Punishment: Emotions, Identities and Lived Experiences in Women's Prisons (Oxford University Press 2018).
  • 2018 European Society of Criminology 'Young Criminologist of the Year' prize
  • 2017 British Society of Criminology’s Women, Crime and Criminal Justice Network Article Prize for 'Embodying Prison Pain: Women's' self-injury practices in prison and the emotions of punishment’, Theoretical Criminology 20(2), pp 205-219.

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.

Current Research Projects

Captive Arts: The Curious Symbiosis Between Artistic Engagements and Imprisonment

This project seeks to conceptually and empirically understand the relationship between the arts and imprisonmnent. It is particularly 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. The project seeks to engage with the genre of prisoner art and through it unpack previously unexplored aspects of survival and resistance in prisons. For a recent research talk on this see here and for examples of how this project is incorporated into my teaching see here.

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 and future events and discussions on this project can be seen here. More recently, this project has evolved into a forthcoming book titled Questioning Punishment (Routledge). A list of articles from this project can be seen below.

Past Research Projects

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. View

Book Cover

Special Issues Edited

  • Carvalho, H., Chamberlen, A. and Duff, A. (eds.) (2019) 'The Problem of Punishment: Renewing Critique', Social & Legal Studies, Vol. 28 (1). View
  • 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. (Forthcoming 2022) 'Feeling the Absence of Justice: Notes on our Pathological Reliance on Punitive Justice', Howard Journal of Crime and Justice.
  • 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. View
  • 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

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.

Current and 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.

Malcolm MacQueen

Project: 'Philosophy in Prison: Critical Pedagogy and Marginal Standpoints', funded by an ESRC 1+3 Scholarship.

Vasiliki Louka

External Supervisor for Leicester University. Project: "The Violent Truth: A comparative, long-term study of collective violence from armed conflicts in Europe" funded by an AHRC Midlands4Cities Scholarship

Erika Herrera Rosales

Project: "When Migrants are not Human: Victim Discourse of Central America Migrants in Mexico", funded by the Chancellor's International Scholarship.

Teaching (2021-22)

Punishment, Justice and Control - Final Year (Year 3/4) Undergraduate. Optional
Key Problems in Criminal Justice - Postgraduate Optional


Recent Events Organised

Tate Exchange Human Library