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Dr. J.H.J. (Julienne) Weegels

Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
Fotograaf: Julienne Weegels

  • Roetersstraat 33
  • Kamernummer: 5.15
  • Postbus 94554
    1090 GN Amsterdam
  • Profile & Research Interests

    Julienne Weegels (Haarlem, 1987) is assistant professor of Latin American Studies at CEDLA as of August 2020. She is an ethnographer with a BA in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology from the University of Amsterdam (2008), and an MA in Latin American Studies from the CEDLA (2009, cum laude). She obtained her PhD in Social Sciences from the University of Amsterdam AISSR (2018, cum laude) and was a postdoctoral researcher at CEDLA between 2018-2020. She is the current co-convener of the Anthropology of Confinement Network, founding member of the Red de Investigación Penitenciaria de las Américas (APRN-RISPA), and co-organizer of the Global Prisons Research Network. Between 2009 and 2016 she conducted 31 months of field research in Nicaragua with prisoners and former prisoners of three prison facilities. In 2019 she was visiting fellow to the University of Cambridge Institute of Criminology’s Prisons Research Centre (PRC).

    Research interests & projects

    Julienne is much interested in the politics of (dis)order and the entanglement of violence with governance. Her PhD research focused on Nicaraguan (former) prisoners’ experiences of imprisonment and the state and on their ‘performing’ of violence, governance, masculinities, and change. Simultaneously, however, it also sought to shed light on the development of Nicaragua’s hybrid carceral state and the intimate relation it projects between extralegality and the exercise of (state) power. This research culminated in the manuscript ‘Performing Prison: Power, Agency, and Co-Governance in Nicaraguan Prisons’.

    At present, following the 2018 anti-government protests, Julienne is conducting research on practices of (state) violence and authoritarianism in Nicaragua. This research project takes the key findings and material from her prisons research as its point of departure, combining it with new research on the changing practices and understandings of policing and confinement in Nicaragua today. In particular, it investigates the government’s strategies of repression and negotiation, as well as its crisis in legitimacy at the hand of its para-state organization, while also seeking to understand the protesters’ divergent claims to the state under the banner of 'justicia'. In doing so, it focuses on three areas:

    1. the rearrangement of co-governance arrangements between powerful stakeholders,
    2. the practices and claims to justice by groups of 'autoconvocados', (family members of) political prisoners and their associations, and
    3. the state’s extralegal governance techniques (including torture and political imprisonment).

    In 2021, with a Global Digital Cultures (GDC) seed grant award, Julienne also started the project "P(R)OTESTAS: The Politics and Aesthetics of Digital Authoritarianism and Protest in the Global South" together with anthropologist Yatun Sastramidjaja and film studies PhD student Luisa Gonzalez Valencia. Updates on this research project can be found here.

    Julienne is also co-organiser of the ILLICITIES City-Making and Organised Crime project set up by Frank Muller of the Centre for Urban Studies. We currently host an "Emergent Conversation" blog on the Political and Legal Anthropology journal website. At this moment, we have an open call for abstracts for a special issue with the Journal of Illicit Economies and Development (deadline for abstract submissions 20 May 2021). 


    Julienne is open to (co-)supervise MA/MSc and PhD projects in the areas of social/political anthropology, critical criminology and/or international development studies on themes related to imprisonment; policing/crime control/criminalization; governance; corruption; violence; authoritarianism; migration; and/or (intersectional approaches to) gender/sexuality, preferably from an ethnographic perspective (can also be digital) and/or with a regional focus on Latin America or Central America. Feel free to reach out for a talk!

  • Publicaties



    • Weegels, J. (2021). Beyond the Cemetery of the Living: An Exploration of Disposal and the Politics of Visibility in the Nicaraguan Prison System. In S. Darke, C. Garces, L. Duno-Gottberg, & A. Antillano (Eds.), Carceral Communities in Latin America: Troubling Prison Worlds in the 21st Century (pp. 295-319). (Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology). Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-61499-7_14 [details]
    • Weegels, J. (2021). Sensing Secrecy: Power, Violence and Its Concealment in Nicaraguan Prisons. In K. Herrity, B. E. Schmidt, & J. Warr (Eds.), Sensory Penalities: Exploring the Senses in Spaces of Punishment and Social Control (pp. 89-105). (Emerald Studies in Culture, Criminal Justice and the Arts). Emerald Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-83909-726-320210007 [details]





    • Weegels, J. (2014). The prisoner's body: violence, desire and masculinities in a Nicaraguan prison theatre group. In G. Frerks, A. Ypeij, & R. S. König (Eds.), Gender and conflict: Embodiments, Discourses and Symbolic Practices (pp. 151-173). (Gender in a global/local world). Farnham: Ashgate. [details]




    • Weegels, J. (2019). El sistema, la policía y la política vistos desde adentro. Un acercamiento al Estado carcelario nicaragüense de cara a la represión. Estudios Centroamericanos, 74(756), 147-172. [details]



    • Weegels, J. H. J., Antillano, A., Azaola, E., Barbosa Lima Siquiera, I., Bessone, N., Biondi, K., Bracco, L., Carranza, A. S., Copa Uyuni, J., del Castillo, F., Diaz, S., Diaz Vidal, M. F., Duran, D., Espinoza, O., Godoi, R., Gual, R., Hernandez Jimenez, N., Hildenbrand, A., Iturralde, M., ... Vigna, A. (2020). Los efectos del coronavirus en las carceles de Latinoamerica.




    • Weegels, J. (speaker) (19-11-2020). Resocializacion o derechos? Trabajo, estudio y mantenimiento de vinculos familiares en prision, VIII Congreso de Derecho de Ejecucion Penal, Buenos Aires.
    • Weegels, J. (speaker) (24-10-2019). Negotiating Power: Prisoners and the State in Nicaragua, University of Cambridge. http://www.latin-american.cam.ac.uk/sites/default/files/michaelmas_2019.pdf
    • Weegels, J. (speaker) (24-10-2019). Prison Riots and Co-Governance in Nicaragua, Westminster University.
    • Weegels, J. (speaker) (10-10-2019). Extralegal Entanglements: Exploring Nicaragua’s Hybrid Carceral State, University of Cambridge.
    • Weegels, J. (speaker) (16-5-2019). Ethics and Research Practicalities in Restricted Environments, IDS Ethics in Practice Seminar.
    • Weegels, J. (speaker) (9-5-2019). From Excluding the Delinquent to Quelling Dissent: Policing, Confinement, and Creeping Authoritarianism in Nicaragua, LASP PhD Core Course.
    • Weegels, J. (speaker) (25-4-2019). Excluding the Noncitizen: Policing, Confinement, and Authoritarianism in Nicaragua.
    • Weegels, J. (speaker) (14-3-2019). The Authoritarian Turn from up Close: Nicaragua and Latin America’s Changing Political Landscape, CLIO Forum Talks, Groningen.
    • Weegels, J. (speaker) (5-3-2019). A new insurrection? Understanding Nicaragua's mass protests, UGlobe Café on Latin American Politics 'From Bolívar to Bolsonaro'. https://www.tivolivredenburg.nl/agenda/van-bolivar-naar-bolsonaro-05-03-2019/
    • Weegels, J. (speaker) (1-11-2018). The Netherlands and Central America - roundtable speaker, The Big Central America Debate, Amsterdam. https://hetnieuwe.viceversaonline.nl/events/het-grote-midden-amerika-debat/?fbclid=IwAR2dipDtrEffQ1BFK3Z6znzh0oFj2O_5tjDybqA6tHFFpW201GOQBp0o6kE
    • Weegels, J. (speaker) & Aguilera, Y. (speaker) (18-6-2018). Introduction: Understanding the Protests in Nicaragua, Dialogues with Civil Society #3: Understanding the Protests in Nicaragua, Amsterdam. https://www.facebook.com/events/1300536096745652/permalink/1301946313271297/


    • Weegels, J. (participant) (22-7-2020). 16th EASA Biennial Conference. At EASA2020 I organized a roundtable together with Irene Marti (University of Bern) titled: "Confinement amplified: Exploring carceral regimes from (…) (participating in a conference, workshop, ...). https://easaonline.org/conferences/easa2020/panels#8643
    • Stuit, H. (organiser) & Weegels, J. (organiser) (18-6-2020). Carcerality in the Globalised Present, Amsterdam (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Weegels, J. (participant) (16-5-2020). LASA2020 Amefrica Ladina. At this conference I chaired the panel "Latin American Prisons: Social embeddedness and the limits of hybrid governance" and presented the paper (…) (participating in a conference, workshop, ...). https://www.lasaweb.org/uploads/lasa2020-program-final.pdf?10
    • Weegels, J. (organiser) & Sanchez Boe, C. (organiser) (12-12-2019 - 13-12-2019). Economies of Confinement, Paris. Anthropology of Confinement, Biannual Workshop-Meeting (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Ypeij, A. (organiser), Weegels, J. (organiser) & Arends, I. (organiser) (4-10-2019). LASP Conference 2019, Amsterdam. In honor of the launch of the Netherlands Research School Latin America Studies, we organized a conference with the title “Latin America in (…) (organising a conference, workshop, ...). https://www.facebook.com/events/2926765690882885/
    • Weegels, J. (organiser) & Mueller, F. (organiser) (3-10-2019). ILLICITIES Workshop, Amsterdam (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Weegels, J. (visiting researcher) (1-9-2019 - 1-12-2019). University of Cambridge (visiting an external institution).
    • Weegels, J. (organiser), Peirce, J. (organiser), Espinoza, O. (organiser) & Marmolejo, L. (organiser) (28-5-2019). Americas Prisons Research Network - 3rd International Meeting, Washington, D.C. (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Ypeij, A. (organiser), Arends, I. (organiser) & Weegels, J. (organiser) (6-5-2019 - 9-6-2019). LASP PhD Core Course (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Weegels, J. (organiser) (2-11-2017 - 3-11-2017). Connecting Urban and Prison Ethnographies: Security and Confinement beyond the Limitations of Site, Amsterdam (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Ypeij, A. (organiser) & Weegels, J. H. J. (organiser) (9-7-2014 - 11-7-2014). Lova’s third international conference ‘Ethnographies of Gender and the Body’, Amsterdam. , VU, Amsterdam, July 9-11, as chair of the organizing committee. (organising a conference, workshop, ...).


    • Weegels, J. H. J. (2018). Performing prison: Power, agency and co-governance in Nicaraguan prisons. [details]
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