Prisons in Portugal and Europe: history, culture and photography

International conference on comparative approaches | University of Porto, 12 and 13 October 2017


In law studies, in criminology and history, the prisons of Portugal have received, in Portugal as well as elsewhere, little attention from researchers. By intent, the subject of this international conference has therefore been defined in a very broad sense, centred on the study of national prison systems, its links to national (penal) cultures, and to the representation of prisons in photography.


What are the possibilities and limits of the analysis of national prison systems? Which are the approaches, which are the methods used, which statistics and indicators should be developed? How can the Sourcebook of crime and criminal justice statistics or the SPACE data set be used for such analyses? How are prisons to be analysed as part of the (penal) culture of a nation? Which elements are needed to undertake such an analysis? How has the treatment of prisons as a subject of photography evolved? When were those pictures taken for the first time, what was photographed?

These are but a few of the questions we would like historians, sociologists, criminologists and other analysts of prisons to tackle and to submit for an in-depth discussion at the international conference on prisons in Porto in October 2017.


There will be invited speakers from Portugal, Switzerland, Spain and England as well as the speakers selected on the base of the call for papers will give talks at the conference. Talks will be held in Portuguese and English, without a translation.

Practical Information

Date: 12 and 13 October 2017
Place: Porto
Registration: Closed

Registration fees

To be paid at the beginning of the Conference.
Students (with certificate of attendance): Euro 5.-
Other participants (with certificate of attendance): Euro 10.-


We have reached the room full capacity and we can no longer accept registrations.