‘I Would Kiss a Man Whenever I Want, Let Some Fucker Hit Me’: Queering Narratives of Incarceration, Sexuality, and Offending Using Prisoner Correspondence
A/Prof. Matthew Ball1
1Queensland University Of Technology
Queer criminological research has drawn long overdue attention to the experiences of sexually- and gender-diverse communities in criminal justice contexts. This paper queers criminological narratives about incarceration, sexuality, and offending. By analysing an archival collection of correspondence written by incarcerated queer people, this paper broadens our understanding of the creation, maintenance, and performance of sexual subjectivities under conditions of carceral governance, examines the role of the prison in producing new sites of pleasure and new avenues for the performance and exploration of sexual subjectivities, and offers insights into the connections between the sexual identities of incarcerated queer people and their offending (specifically, their sex offending). Using these three examples, this paper not only provides new insights into what we think we know about prisons, but also highlights the broader value of queer archival materials for queer criminology.
Matthew Ball is an Associate Professor in the School of Justice at Queensland University of Technology. His research focuses on queer criminology, and he has written and edited several foundational texts in the field, including Criminology and Queer Theory: Dangerous Bedfellows? (Palgrave, 2016). Matthew is the 2021 recipient of the Western Society of Criminology’s Richard Tewksbury award for significant contributions to the intersection of sexuality, crime, and justice.