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Dior Konate
South Carolina State University (Orangeburg, SC 29115-4427)
A History of Prison Architecture and Punishment in Colonial Senegal

This study explores the history of prison architecture in colonial Senegal as a way to illustrate the connection between penal architectural forms and punishment. First, it analyzes prison buildings and their changing architectural forms throughout the colonial period to understand how the French used prisons to control Africans through architectures. Second, it describes the connections between the internal layout of prison spaces and punishment to show how the design of prisons expressed the notions of punishment and reforms, and how inmates adapted to prison conditions, undermined or re-appropriated those spaces. Third, the study discusses the legacy of colonial prisons in independent Senegal. Its main contribution is to identify what was unique about the architecture of colonial prisons in Senegal and how it fitted into a larger architectural project designed by the French to control and discipline certain segments of the population and to segregate Europeans from Africans.

[Grant products][Media coverage]

Project fields:
African History

Awards for Faculty

Research Programs

$42,000 (approved)
$42,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2013 – 3/31/2014