Wednesday 10 November 2021

New book by our new network Chair coming soon

Race, Recognition and Retribution in Contemporary Youth Justice

#HCNet recently welcomed a new Chair to the BSC Historical Criminology Network: Dr Esmorie Miller, Lecturer in Criminology at London South Bank University, UK. 

Esmorie's new book Race, Recognition and Retribution in Contemporary Youth Justice will be published in the series Routledge Critical Studies in Crime, Diversity and Criminal Justice on 31 January 2022. She has kindly shared a discount flyer with the network, available for preview and download below. 

Esmorie looks forward to a new chapter for #HCNet in a guest post on this blog here, and previous Chair David Churchill reflects on his time in a post here


Tuesday 9 November 2021

Portraits of crime? The ethics of displaying real lives and people

Online event 7 December 2021.

#HCNet members may be interested in this online discussion event organised jointly by Understanding British Portraits (UBP) and the Crime and Punishment Collections Network (CaP) on criminal justice portraiture. 

Speakers include Historical Criminology Network (#HCNet) members who will "explore complex ethical challenges around curatorial interpretation, access, consent, agency, individual rights or legacy which may be raised in displaying such portraits." 

For more information and to register, visit the event pages at either UBP or CaP.

Image for decoration only but illustrates the concept of "mugshots" - popular name for criminal portraiture. The image is a copy of a monochrome newspaper page of insufficient detail to read the names and offences reproduced in the original, or to see detail in the faces, but the page is clearly titled JUST BUSTED and depicts five rows of head and shoulders portraits plus an advertisement.
Johanna Bockman, Page from Just Busted (2013) a 'mugshot tabloid'. 


Monday 8 November 2021

New collection of primary sources

Nineteenth Century Crime and Punishment

#HCNet members will doubtless be interested to hear of a new, 4-volume collection of primary sources.

Nineteenth-Century Crime and Punishment, by Victor Bailey and published by Routledge, presents a wide range of historic documents. Each volume contains a scholarly introduction and headnotes annotate each document. The collection provide a documentary history of crime and punishment in the ‘long’ nineteenth century (1776-1914), covering crime and criminals, bodily punishments, transportation and the prison. It will likely prove a valuable teaching resource for modules on crime, justice and punishment in nineteenth-century Britain. 

See the flyer below for further information on the contents of the collection and for a discount code.


Friday 8 October 2021

New Historical Criminology book

History & Crime: A transdisciplinary approach.

A new book published by the Emerald Advances in Historical Criminology series promises to be of interest to #HCNet members. A discount flyer is available for preview and download below (no log in required). 

More information about the book is available on the flyer or on the publication page at the Emerald website.


Thursday 2 September 2021

Looking Forward: The Path Ahead…

a message from new Chair Esmorie Miller

As #HCNet moves forward, it is worth remarking that this can best be guided by footprints firmly established, thus far. Over the past few years, for instance, our increased membership has inevitably enriched our events as the diversity of topics presented offered some clarity on the diverse paths historical criminology can take. Examples include a broad concern with historicization, to more specific thematic explorations on areas like decolonization and indigenization of knowledge and practice. Thus, the network’s move forward into the next phase, so to speak, seems best guided by what members want.


I use this question as my starting point to emphasize what can be gained from a historical approach, in general, and historical criminology, more specifically. What do members want? The notably growing receptivity to historical criminology has manifested, thus far, in two identifiable areas: the first concerns pedagogy—how to normalize and integrate historical criminology, in the classroom; meanwhile, the second concerns epistemological—how to normalize and integrate historical methods, in criminological research.


Listening to colleagues, in recent events, has helped to give a sense to us all of how we might approach developing and concretizing our individual approaches. Listening has contributed greatly, giving more clarity (with much room to grow) about how to move from ambition to practice. The possibilities for concretization have become more probable as #HCNet forms wider contacts with other historical networks and members have the possibility for discussing and sharing ideas and approaches.


More of this is anticipated. I look forward to continuing rich and diverse interaction. Thank you for having me onboard.


Esmorie Miller (London South Bank University)

Image used here for decorative purposes. A monochrome line engraving in the eighteenth century style depicting a courtroom tableau of which the title is an accurate description: 'A courtroom scene with a judge, a pregnant woman, a guilty looking man and an angry wife.' The additional text provided by the archive includes the original lettering and can be found at the following address:
T. Cook after W. Hogarth, A courtroom scene with a judge, a pregnant woman, a guilty looking man and an angry wife. CC BY 4.0 Wellcome Collection no 28655i via Look & Learn


Wednesday 1 September 2021

Looking Back: The Story so Far…

a message from outgoing Chair David Churchill

It’s been a pleasure to chair #HCNet over the past few years. The Network was founded on the hunch that, besides the various networks of crime historians already in existence, a Network organized around historical scholarship in criminology might serve a useful purpose.

Formed originally of just a dozen people, the Network now has almost 100 members. Its reach is international, taking in scholars in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and elsewhere. Similar networks have since sprung up in other parts too, including the Australian and New Zealand Historical Criminology Network, the American Society of Criminology Division of Historical Criminology and the revival of the European Society of Criminology Historical working group.

We have come together for events of various kinds – from the 2-day Plymouth conference in 2019, to the thematic workshops in 2020, to this year’s international networking event (jointly organized with the ANZ Network). Each has forged connections and sparked new conversations in its own way – and new collaborations and joint projects have resulted.

It also seems to me that criminology at large is becoming increasingly receptive and responsive to historical research. Historical articles are becoming somewhat more common in major criminology journals. There are more historical papers at the BSC Conference than there were a few years ago. Joint projects are more a feature of the research landscape.

All in all, things look well for #HCNet moving forward. My deepest thanks to all those (you know who you are!) who have helped to keep the show on the road over the past few years. And I wish Esmorie every success in taking the Network on to the next stage.

David Churchill (University of Leeds)

Decorative image. Shows a page from a sepia photograph album with four oval apertures, each containing a posed portrait of a woman in Victorian dress, her name and offense written in inked cursive beneath.
Extract from Samuel G. Szábo’s Rogues, A Study of Characters (1857) (c) Public Domain.
Read the article at Public Domain Review.


Monday 21 June 2021

Joint Historical Criminology Networks Event


You are warmly invited to register for an online historical criminology discussion event, hosted jointly by the British and Australian-New Zealand Historical Criminology Networks, on the 14th and 15th July 2021. 

With COVID-19 still disrupting travel, research, and possibilities to collaborate with colleagues locally and around the world there has been little chance recently to connect with others researching historical criminology. 

Over two short meetings on the 14th and 15th July, we will bring together the British and the Australian and New Zealand Historical Criminology Networks for an opportunity to meet others with similar research interests. This will be an occasion to discuss how we might think and work differently, to discuss work that we have been undertaking or planning, and to connect with colleagues from the UK, Australia, New Zealand and beyond. 

There are a variety of sessions planned so you are free to jump in and out of sessions or join at the time of your preferred session/s. Each session will last approximately 30 minutes and will be led jointly by members of the British and the Australian & New Zealand networks.

Dates: 14th and 15th July
Times: 6-8pm AEST, 8-10pm NZST, 9-11am BST
Location: Zoom. There will be one Zoom link for the two days. 

Provisional timings and information for the discussion sessions are outlined below (note – an updated programme will be circulated once all details are finalised).

If you are interested in joining us, please send an email to either David Churchill ( or Vicky Nagy ( by Wednesday 7 July, indicating which session(s) you would like to join. Please also attach a single slide ‘name tag’, in PowerPoint, indicating your:
Affiliation (if appropriate)
Email address
Interest in/reason for joining that session
In advance of the event we will circulate joining instructions and the collected name tags for each session you are attending. 

If you have any questions, please just email either David or Vicky. We look forward to seeing many of you there!

14 July
1. PhD/ ECR Support: what to expect from supervisors, mentors, and how senior colleagues should support you; presenting the impact of your research. Start time: 6pm AEST; 8pm NZST; 9am BST. Professor Barry Godfrey (University of Liverpool) and Distinguished Professor Rob White (UTAS Criminology) will lead this session.

2. Digital data methods and historical criminology: with the increased digitisation of archival records, how do digital data methods interact with historical criminology? Start time: 6.45pm AEST; 8.45pm NZST; 9.45am BST. Dr Alana Piper (UTS) will lead this session (BSC Network lead to be confirmed).

3. Researching more recent histories: thinking historically about the mid-to-late twentieth century – or the present day. Start time: 7.30pm AEST; 9.30pm NZST; 10.30am BST. Dr Paul Bleakley (Middlesex University & ANZ Network member) and Dr Thomas Guiney (Oxford Brookes University) will lead this session.

15 July
4. Decolonisation and Indigenisation: how can historical criminologists decolonise their research and Indigenise the work they do? Start time: 6pm AEST; 8pm NZST; 9am BST. Dr Michael Guerzoni (Indigenous Fellow, UTAS Criminology) and Dr Esmorie Miller (London South Bank University) will lead this session.

5. Criminalisation and policing of women: the criminalisation of any deviance from ideal womanhood have always been about controlling women and oftentimes this has been through using the police as an arm of the state. Start time: 6.45pm AEST; 8.45pm NZST; 9.45am BST. (Session leads to be confirmed.)

6. Vulnerabilities of victims in the criminal justice system: criminology is often forgetting about victims. In this session focus will be on how victims of crime have experienced the various criminal justice systems. Start time: 7.30pm AEST; 9.30pm NZST; 10.30am BST. Dr Natalie Maystorovich Chulio (University of Sydney) will lead this session (BSC Network lead to be confirmed).

A black on white line drawing of a hand, palm open and facing upward in semi-profile (an offering gesture?) in the style of a vintage woodcut.
Hand vintage line drawing by Artsybee via Pixabay


Thursday 13 May 2021

New book on police reform

Provincial Police Reform in Early Victorian England: Cambridge, 1835-1856

Many members of #HCNet will be interested to hear of a new book on police reform by Roger Swift.

Provincial Police Reform in Early Victorian England: Cambridge, 1835-1856, published by Routledge, is the latest addition to the longstanding debate on the genesis of the ‘new’ police in England. As the blurb explains, the book examines ‘the process of police reform, the relationship between the police and the public, and their impact on crime in Cambridge’.

Further information on the book, together with a discount code, are available in the flyer below..



Monday 10 May 2021

100 Years of the Infanticide Act: Legacy and Impact

Call for abstracts and titles.

Emma Milne and Karen Brennan are developing an edited collection on the offence/defence of infanticide to coincide with the centenary of the Infanticide Act 1922 and are inviting contributions from academics and researchers as well as legal professionals.

The collection will be titled 100 Years of the Infanticide Act: Legacy and Impact and the deadline for 200-word abstracts is 31st May 2021. 

The editors say:

"The collection will focus on the impact, legacy, and future of the infanticide law, starting with its enactment in 1922 and focusing on the current law as found in the Infanticide Act 1938. We are interested in receiving contributions which consider the infanticide law in England and Wales and in other jurisdictions from doctrinal, theoretical, socio-legal, medico-legal, and legal history perspectives.

Our intention is to bring together a range of scholars who have made important contributions to our understanding of this law. This includes scholarship from across the globe that engages with the criminal law and criminal justice responses to infanticide in other jurisdictions, whether they have enacting specific legislation on this issue or taken a different approach.

In particular, we are interested in contributions which consider (but are not limited to) the following issues: 

  • How the infanticide law has been interpreted and used as part of the criminal justice response to women who kill their babies
  • Theoretical and doctrinal analyses of the offence/defence of infanticide 
  • How the infanticide doctrine fits in with and relates to the broader framework of capacity-related criminal defences 
  • Evidential issues arising from the use of the infanticide law 
  • The future outlook for this law, particularly with regard to considerations for abolishing or reforming it 
  • Medico-legal critiques of the medical rationale of the law
  • Feminist critiques of the law
  • Infanticide laws (or lack thereof) in other jurisdictions 

We have interest from and are working with Hart Publishing to develop a book proposal. The editors warmly welcome submissions from academics and researchers, as well as legal professionals. Please submit a 200-word abstract of your proposed chapter to on or before May 31st 2021. We will be asking authors to work to the following deadlines:


Deadline for abstracts

End of May 2021

Informal online workshop to present chapter focus

September 2021

Author first drafts due

End of March 2022

Final chapters (following editorial review) due

June 2022



Thursday 8 April 2021

British Society of Criminology Conference 2021

Call for abstracts.

This year's British Society of Criminology conference will be held fully online for the first time. The theme is 'Crime and Harm: Challenges of Social and Global Justice?' As usual, the conference welcomes submissions across a broad range of topics and formats. 

The conference will be hosted by The Open University from 7-9 July 2021. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 19 April. Other key dates are given on the graphic below. For further information, visit the conference webpage here.

Image text reads: Key dates, 1 March - call for abstracts opens, 19 March - registration opens for accepted presenters, 19 April - call for abstracts closes, 20 April - registration opens for all, 1 June - Deadline for presenters to register to make the programme, 30 June - registration closes for non-presenters, 7 July - conference opens, 9 July - conference closes.
BSC Conference 2021 key dates


Wednesday 7 April 2021

Punishment and Empire

Virtual reading group

April Jackson (University of Leicester) is working to establish a virtual reading group on the subject of punishment and empire. This group intends to enable students, posgraduates and scholars working on the themes of punishment and empire to connect and share ideas. 

The first meeting was held on 25 March, 2pm-3.30pm (GMT), and the plan is to meet monthly thereafter. April is really keen to hear from anyone interested in joining the group. Contact her via email: 

A grey on off-white woodcut engraving depicting a woman in Victorian dress, seated at a table with a book in front of her, several people of various ages are clustered around her. The people behind her, to the left of the image are all well-dressed in many layers, the women hatted with ornamental feathers, the men bespectacled and standing upright. Opposite the reading woman and to the right of the image the people are in short sleeves, or their clothes torn, some of them have their head in their hands weeping, the woman nearest has a bare shoulder and two children playing at her feet and one in her arms.
John Johnson, 'Mrs Fry reading to prisoners in Newgate' (c.1860s) via Wikimedia Commons CC BY 4.0

Wednesday 24 February 2021

British Crime Historians Symposium 2021

Call for papers

The British Crime Historians Symposium (BCHS) meets regularly to discuss and debate original historical research on all aspects of crime, policing, punishment, law, criminal justice and social regulation. For the first time in its history, it will be hosted fully online on Zoom. The conference will take place on 2-3 September 2021 and feature a keynote presentation from Professor Randolph Roth (Ohio State University).

Interested in participating? Choose from a range of presentation formats, detailed in the full call for papers (below for view or download). Please send proposals by email attachment to by 28 May 2021.



Tuesday 23 February 2021

Online Seminar Series Starts Soon

Crime and Justice Research Group @LSBU

The Crime and Justice Research Group at London South Bank University (LSBU) have announced a series of online seminars starting in March 2021 that are likely to be of interest to Historical Criminologists. 

Presenters include #HCNet member and Lecturer in Criminology at LSBU, Dr. Esmorie Miller. The full programme can be viewed or downloaded below.

All seminars take place from 3.30pm on a Wednesday, are free and open to all. For joining instructions contact or DM the group on Twitter @LSBU_Crime



Wednesday 20 January 2021

Feminist Perspectives on Women's Violence

Call for Abstracts.

A call for abstracts has been issued for a handbook on feminist perspectives on women’s violence, edited by Stacy Banwell, Lynsey Black, Dawn Cecil, Yanyi Djamba, Sitawa Kimuna, Emma Milne, Lizzie Seal and Eric Tenkorang.

The interdisciplinary handbook will offer a wide conceptualization of violence, taking account of a wide range of theoretical perspectives. Historical perspectives are welcome.

Submissions and queries should be emailed to Lynsey Black ( It is anticipated that full chapters (6,000 words) will be due on 31 October 2021.

Further details are provided below (from the editors).

Black and white printed newspaper illustration (drawing) portrait of a woman in Victorian dress, hatless, with severe hairstyle and serious expression looking directly at the viewer. Captions read 'The Richmond Murder: Portraits and Scenes' and 'The prisoner, Kate Webster'.
'The prisoner, Kate Webster' Illustrated Police News, 3 May 1879, cover.

Handbook on Feminist Perspectives on Women's Violence

Stacy Banwell, Lynsey Black, Dawn Cecil, Yanyi Djamba, Sitawa Kimuna, Emma Milne, Lizzie Seal, Eric Tenkorang 

We are encouraging potential contributors to submit abstracts for consideration which relate to this area of research. It is our intention that the Handbook will encompass a wide conceptualisation of violence, including perspectives that look at the question structurally, symbolically, and relationally. In taking this comprehensive approach, we intend the Handbook to make a significant theoretical contribution to how women’s violence is understood.

We are seeking chapters that consider women’s violence across the world and the text will incorporate, but also look beyond, Europe and North America. We are also interested in work from across disciplines: arts, humanities, social sciences, and interdisciplinary work.

Indicative Themes
We invite contributions related to the below themes. These are broad indicative themes only, and we are interested in all dimensions related to approaches to women’s violence, including theoretical and empirical work which explores this area. We are also interested in research that focuses on criminal justice and social responses, as well as women’s experiences, victim’s experiences, and ‘explanations’ of women’s violence.

• Historical perspectives
• Motherhood
• Intimate violence
• Political violence
• Structural violence
• Women as victim-perpetrators
• Environmental harms and violence against non-human animals
• Media and literary representations and Cultural Criminology

It is anticipated that approximately 6,000-word chapters (inc. refs) would be due 31 Oct 2021.
Please email submissions and questions to:

Tuesday 19 January 2021

#HCNet Chair Vacancy

Advance notice.

When #HCNet - the British Society of Criminology's Historical Criminology Network - was established in September 2018, it was agreed that the Chair’s term should normally run for three years. As such, we will be looking to appoint a new Chair of the Network later this year (2021).

The Chair is responsible for the overall direction and running of the Network, and is invited to join the British Society of Criminology Executive Committee. Chairs of BSC networks should usually have been members of the BSC for at least one year – though a handover period may be possible for newer members interested in taking on the role.

A call for volunteers will be issued in the Spring. In the meantime, please give some thought to taking on this role. If anybody would like to discuss what is involved, please get in touch with the current Chair, David Churchill:

Black and white photograph of four wooden deck chairs on a lawn. There are bicycles, a path and shrubbery in the background giving the impression of a public park.
Chairs. CC0 (unlimited use) via

Monday 18 January 2021

Punishment in global peripheries

Call for papers.

Luiz Dal Santo and Maximo Sozzo have issued a call for papers for a conference on ‘Punishment in Global Peripheries: Contemporary Changes and Historical Continuities’ at the University of Oxford, 24-25 June 2021.

This event seeks to counter the Northern and Western focus of much scholarship in criminology and the sociology of punishment, and to bring an historical perspective to bear on the legacies of colonialism and imperialism for penality in other parts of the world.

Interested in presenting a paper? If so, an abstract of up to 500 words by 22 March 2021 to and, with your name and affiliation. Decisions shall be communicated by 29 March 2021

Further details are provided in the full call which can be viewed and/or downloaded below.



Sunday 17 January 2021

Social Science History Association Conference

Call for Papers.

The Crime, Justice and the Law Network of the Social Science History Association have issued a call for papers for the SSHA Conference in Philadelphia, 11-14 November 2021.

The theme of this year’s conference – ‘Crisis, Conjunctures, Turning Points: Theory and Method in Turbulent Times’ – addresses the uses of history in explaining the present. The Crime, Justice and the Law Network also particularly welcome interdisciplinary panels straddling history and the social sciences.

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 16 February 2021. For more information, or to make a submission, visit the SSHA website. This link includes the overall conference Call for Papers.

The specific Call for Papers from the Crime, Justice and the Law Network can be downloaded/viewed below.



Saturday 16 January 2021

Path dependencies and criminal justice reform

Call for abstracts.

Thomas Guiney, Ashley Rubin and Henry Yeomans have issued a call for abstracts for a special issue of the Howard Journal of Crime and Justice on ‘Path Dependencies and Criminal Justice Reform: Investigating Continuity and Change across Historical Time’.

This issue – which arises out of a workshop held at the #HCNet virtual event last year – aims to explore the theoretical potential of ‘path dependency’ to explain institutional stability, incremental reform, and periods of rapid policy change in criminal justice.

Submit an abstract (300 words) and short biography (100 words) by 5 March 2021 to:;; and The organisers plan to hold a virtual symposium in November 2021 to discuss draft papers, ahead of submission for peer review in February 2022.

Further details are provided in the full call which can be viewed and/or downloaded below.



Friday 15 January 2021

Security and the Security Industry in Modern Britain

New project launches.

#HCNet Network Chair David Churchill has begun a new research project: ‘Security for sale in modern Britain: security provision, ensembles and cultures, 1785-1995’.

Funded by an AHRC Leadership Fellowship, this project will document the rise of the security industry and analyse the economic, social and cultural consequences of security commodification in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Further information on the project is available on the University of Leeds website at this link.  

A black and white (lithograph?) image of a metal lock shown in cross-section with its internal workings on display, the metal key in the lock reads 'Chubb'.
The Chubb Detector Lock and Mechanism [19thC] (c) Chubb Archives


Monday 7 September 2020

New book by Dr Alexa Neale

Photographing Crime Scenes in Twentieth-Century London

#HCNet member Alexa Neale is pleased to announce publication of her first monograph titled Photographing Crime Scenes in Twentieth-Century London: Microhistories of Domestic Murder (London: Bloomsbury, 2020).

An extract from the publisher's description reads;

"How can we read a crime scene photograph? Photographing Crime Scenes in 20th-Century London will take you inside homes that were murder crime scenes to read their geographical and symbolic meanings in the light of the development of crime scene photography, forensic analysis and psychological testing. In doing so, it reveals how photographs of domestic objects and spaces were more often used to recreate a narrative for the murder based on the defendant's perceived identity than to prove they committed the crime at all."

Each chapter explores narratives of crime and their relationship to visual representations of murder, space and place, visiting homes in Camden Town, Bloomsbury, Knightsbridge, Limehouse, St. Pancras and North Kensington. Published as part of the Bloomsbury series Histories of Crime, Deviance and Punishment, the book draws on the work of many other distinguished Historical Criminologists and #HCNet members. 

As of September 2020 the book is available in Hardback or eBook, or via Bloomsbury Collections to subscribing institutions. A preview of the book can be read below or by clicking here