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An image of an old red brick wall.

Lived, Layered, Locked Up: Rethinking Women’s Prisons in Finland in the Long Nineteenth Century

Tampere University
Area of focusSociety

This Academy Research Fellow project investigates three Finnish women’s prisons in the long nineteenth century.

The project aims to take a fresh look at the history of incarceration by concentrating on the different layers of prison space and the occupants’ experiences of the same, and by using new kinds of source material such as prisoners’ personal letters.

Lived, Layered, Locked Up will deliver new knowledge about the production of the nineteenth-century prison, the changing notions of discipline and other gendered aspects of prison life. As such, the project will shed light on underprivileged individuals’ experience of modernisation in northern Europe.

By analysing the entanglements between discipline, well-being and labour, the project will enhance our understanding of the current penal turn in our own society and produce a historical perspective for the contemporary discussion on unconditionally paid social benefits vs. activating workfare policy.

Funding source

Academy of Finland, 20212026