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Anastasia Chamberlen

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Warwick

Anastasia joined Warwick as Assistant Professor in Sociology in March 2016. She's researching and teaching in the fields of criminology and the sociology of prisons and punishment, and is co-director of the BA Law and Sociology programme. Before joining Warwick, she 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 Birkbeck, the London School of Economics and at King’s College London.

Anastasia has 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. at King’s College London.

Anastasia’s 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. Her work is empirically informed, using mainly qualitative research methods, 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.

Anastasia is currently working on two research projects:

The first project, titled 'Embodying Punishment: Emotions, Identities and Lived Experiences in Women’s Prisons’, theoretically and empirically explores how women experience imprisonment. It advances a phenomenological and post-Cartesian study of lived experience in prisons. Through a series of interviews with women ex-prisoners, this study shows how the prisoner’s body is central to her experience of pain, deprivation and punishment in prison, and also is a main means of survival and resistance in punitive institutions. This study illustrates what consequences such embodied experiences can have for the identities of women prisoners and their lives post-release. Outputs from this project include two peer-reviewed articles and a forthcoming book with Oxford Univeristy Press.

The second project, titled 'Why Punishment Pleases’, is a collaborative project that examines the urge to punish in neoliberal societies. It uses an interdisciplinary perspective to deconstruct the concept of emotions in order to better understand the social, as well as psychical, dimensions of pursuing punishment even when it is ineffective. 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 of the role of punishment in our society that can explain not only the degree of its application today, but also its perceived popularity and necessity as social practice. Outputs are ongoing and so far include two peer-reviewed articles and co-editing of an upcoming Special Issue with Social & Legal Studies titled 'The Problem of Punishment: Renewing Critique'.


  • –present
    Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Warwick