Saturday, 18 January 2020

Conference: After Strangeways

The past, present and future of prisons


Thirty years to the day from the start of the protest at Strangeways Prison, a major conference is being held at Kings College's Strand Campus to discuss the past, present and future of prisons.

"The root causes of the protests lay in many years of unjust and abusive prison policies and practices that affected not just Strangeways, but the British prison system as a whole. The conference will consider the deep history of British prisons, using the Strangeways protests as a signal moment in a wider history of problematic and abusive institutions. 
Thirty years on, the dysfunctions and problems of the prison system that gave rise to the Strangeways protest are as pressing as ever. Indeed some would argue they are worse. Many prisons across Britain appear locked in a terminal spiral of decline and decay. The conference will take stock of the present state of prisons across the UK, and what current conditions say about British society and the way it treats some of the most vulnerable and marginalised groups. 
The conference will also look forward, at the potential futures of prisons. Do prisons protect prisoners and the wider society? If not, do we need to think differently about the meaning of protection and safety in the twenty-first century?Are prisons eternal and immutable institutions, destined forever to be a feature of British society? Is it possible to think about different futures, including ones where far fewer people are imprisoned, or where prisons are no longer a mainstay of our response to crime?"

For registration and a list of confirmed speakers go to the KCL event page.


A black and white photograph looking into a prison cell from outside, focused on the metal bars blurring the background which appears to be a bed, sidetable and possibly an occupant in the centre.
Prison Jail Cell, free photo by Ichigo121212 via Pixabay


  

Friday, 17 January 2020

Conference: How did Thatcher’s Children Fare?

27 February 2020: The British Academy, Carlton Terrace, London


This Conference looks at the legacies of Thatcherism. Ranging across crime, social policy and politics, the conference will explore the continuing relevance of Thatcherism and what the research reveals about the study of legacies.

A draft programme is provided below. Anybody interested in attending must register directly with Steve Farrall, the conference organiser (s.farrall@derby.ac.uk).






  



  

Call for Chapters: Activism through the language of criminality

Historical perspectives on the criminalization of social and political engagement


Chapter abstracts are invited for a proposed book with the above title. The book will be proposed to Routledge and edited by Dr Valeria Vegh Weis (Buenos Aires University) and Prof. John Lea (Goldsmiths College London University) who say:

"Criminal justice and political and social activism have been systematically interrelated throughout history. The use of criminal law, criminal justice agencies and the mass media to define and prosecute political and social activism as 'criminal' has been a significant tool of powerful elites in the modern period. This collaborative book will aim to explore aspects of the criminalization of activism from the beginning of the 19th century through to the present. It will seek to reflect diverse perspectives on the issue..."

The deadline for chapter abstracts is 1 March 2020. More information can be found on the below Call for Chapters document or by emailing the editors:

valeriaveghweis@derecho.uba.ar
J.Lea@gold.ac.uk






  


  

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Call For Papers: Murder and True Crime in the Media

Interdisciplinary conference at St. Mary's University, Twickenham


Proposals are invited for a free, one-day, interdisciplinary conference at St Mary’s University, Twickenham on Friday 29th May 2020 to explore 'Murder and True Crime in the Media'. Confirmed Keynote Speakers include Dr Sarah Moore and Dr Jane Monckton-Smith.

The full CFP can be found on the university website here. The CFP deadline is Friday 14th February 2020.

Papers are invited from a broad range of disciplines including Media, Film, Criminology, Sociology and Law. The CFP says:

"Through the consideration of murder in the press, documentaries, films and novels, this conference will interrogate the different representations of true crime and how these can contribute to important debates in contemporary culture and society. For instance, can analysis into victims shed light on the way that social groups are constructed in the media, and whether there is a process of selection occurring? How can the study of murder cases provide further insight into coercive control? How might the representations of crimes vary, from knife crime, organised crime, to the glamorisation or even celebrification of some serial killers? What are the ethical considerations when producing murder content and how do platforms such as podcasts and YouTube, pose issues of regulation?"

Please submit a maximum 500-word abstract by Friday 14th February 2020 to Dr Maria Mellins, maria.mellins@stmarys.ac.uk


A black and white candid photograph of several moustachioed men and a woman of colour in a fine suit walking out of the doors of the Pittsburgh City-County Building - all are dressed in 1970s clothing and carrying cameras, press-passes and microphones in the style of news reporters. In the immediate foreground at the bottom of the steps are two people dressed (conspicuously) in twenty-teens attire, dating the photograph to more recent than the monochrome and clothing suggest.
© 'Filming of Mindhunter Season 2: News reporters in 1970s' by Can Pac Swire via Flickr CC-BY-NC-2.0


  

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Call for Papers: British Society of Criminology Conference 2020

‘Criminology in an Age of Global Injustice(s)’ 


This year’s British Society of Criminology (BSC) Conference will take place at the University of Liverpool, from 7 to 10 July 2020. For more information about the conference visit the BSC Conference webpage.  

The call for papers deadline falls a little earlier than in previous years: 16 March. Members of all specialist networks of the BSC are encouraged to submit proposals for papers, panels and other kinds of session (author meets critics, roundtable discussions, etc.). #HCNet, the BSC Historical Criminology Network, is therefore asking members to please consider proposing historically-themed sessions for the Conference in 2020. 

At 2019's Conference in Lincoln, a stimulating roundtable discussion broadly on the theme of Historical Criminology was organised by #HCNet member Alex Tepperman and was very successful. Network Chair Dave Churchill is eager to re-create something similar this year, and asks anyone with ideas to get in touch with him. He is able to circulate suggestions or proposals through the network or guage interest from members on particular themes or topics. 

Email Dave at d.churchill@leeds.ac.uk

Add the Conference dates and CFP deadline reminder to your own Calendar via our Events page.





  

Friday, 15 November 2019

New publications

by Dr Louise Brangan


#HCNet Network member Louise Brangan has recently published two articles of interest to Historical Criminologists, one in the British Journal of Criminology and another in Theoretical Criminology.

Both articles are historical accounts of significantly under-researched periods in anglophone penal history, and both offer new analysis of how and why punishment transformed as it did in Ireland and Scotland, respectively.

Brangan L (2019) Pastoral penality in 1970s Ireland: Addressing the pains of imprisonment. Theoretical Criminology. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362480619843295

Brangan L (2019) Civilizing Imprisonment: The Limits of Scottish Penal Exceptionalism. British Journal of Criminology, 59 (4), pp. 780-799. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azy057

Don't forget to share your latest publications and related announcements by emailing historicalcriminology@gmail.com

If you come across an article you think relevant to Historical Criminology, you can also use the 'share article via email' option on the webpage and input our email address.


Black and white image of a large industrial printing press machine, 1946, multiple rollers, with steps either side for access. A man in overalls and a flatcap is standing to one side of the machine to show the scale - the machine is nearly two times his height.
Printing press in 11 Shop, Elswick Works, Newcastle upon Tyne, September 1946 (c) Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums via Flickr (TWAM ref. 1027/5178)





  

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

#HCNet Workshop Event: Call for Ideas

Plans and Call for Ideas from #HCNet Chair


Following on from the highly successful #HCNet (Historical Criminology Network) Conference at the University of Plymouth in April 2019, plans are currently in formation for a dedicated #HCNet event this year. (A retrospective on the conference can be found here.) Following discussions among network members, the plan for this academic year is to hold a one-day workshop-style event, which will provide space for small(ish) groups to work together on a particular project or activity. The aim of the event is to bring together groups of people who don’t normally work together – possibly from across disciplines – to explore working toward some concrete goal. This could take a variety of forms.

Ideas for group objectives that have been suggested so far include:

Pooling historical source materials/quantitiative data already collected individually to explore opportunities for combining datasets/analysing eixtsing material from new perspectives
Scoping and workshopping new approaches to analysing data from digital source collections
Scoping and workshopping unconventional, possibly inter-/cross-disciplinary research techniques and methods
Scoping opportunities for comparative research on particular themes, pooling expertise from across periods and places
Working to develop a new public engagement or ‘impact’ initiative, possibly pooling the insights from related pieces of research or complementary projects
Comparing and refining teaching materials/course designs for modules in crime history, historical criminology or similar

#HCNet Chair Dave Churchill, who is coordinating the event as a whole, says:

Doubtless there are lots of other good ideas out there too. The important thing is for each group to have a fairly clear sense of its aims and some idea of what it hopes to get out of the day. With that in mind, we are looking at this stage to identify people interested in coordinating a group. So if you have an idea of something you might like to collaborate with others over, or something you’d like wider expertise to help develop, then please get in touch via email (d.churchill@leeds.ac.uk)

It doesn’t matter if the idea is very speculative or half-formed at this stage – and we are really keen to welcome ideas from people at all stages of their career, including postgrads and early career researchers. This is potentially a really good opportunity to work with new people and develop something of direct use in terms of our research, engagement and teaching plans and priorities. So please do get in touch, and share this invitation with anybody who might be interested in getting involved.

Further information on the event will be circulated once the workshop groups have been identified.

Please direct any queries/informal enquiries to Dave Churchill: d.churchill@leeds.ac.uk 


A black and white photograph of a glass bulb: a globe rising from a thinner tube containing a filament, mounted on a wooden stand screwed to a table.
Replica of Thomas Edison's first lightbulb, (c) NPS (US National Parks Service)


  

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

British Crime Historians Symposium 2020: Call for Papers

2nd – 4th September 2020, Centre for Criminal Justice Studies, School of Law, University of Leeds


The British Crime Historians Symposium (BCHS) meets every two years to discuss and debate original historical research on all aspects of crime, policing, punishment, law, criminal justice and social regulation. Since the first meeting in 2008, the BCHS has become a leading academic forum in this broad and vibrant field of research.

The next conference is hosted by the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies in the School of Law, University of Leeds. Confirmed keynote speakers include Professor Louise Jackson (University of Edinburgh) and Professor Randolph Roth (The Ohio State University).

The conference welcomes proposals for papers, panels and other sessions concerned with the history of crime and criminal justice, especially (though not exclusively) in connection with Britain and its former colonies. Papers on all topics and periods within this broad remit are welcomed. Submissions are encouraged from researchers across a wide range of disciplines (including, but not limited to, history, criminology, law, socio-legal studies and sociology), and from postgraduate and early career researchers. Postgraduate presenters will be invited to submit their papers for the Clive Emsley Prize, awarded for the best postgraduate paper at the conference. (We posted about the winner of the 2018 prize here.)

Typically speakers will have 20 minutes to present their paper. Panels should each consist of three papers selected to illuminate an overarching topic, theme or issue, and organisers are encouraged to consider including postgraduate and early career researchers in their panels. Suggestions for alternative formats (roundtable sessions, source/method-based workshops, ‘author meets readers’ sessions, etc.) are welcome; please discuss any ideas with the conference organising committee in the first instance.

For individual paper proposals, please include: paper title; name(s) of author(s); institutional affiliation (if applicable); email address (of proposing author); paper abstract of no more than 250 words.

For panel proposals, please include full details (as outlined above) for each constituent paper, in addition to: panel title; name, institutional affiliation (if applicable) and email address of the panel organiser; abstract of the panel’s aims (no more than 150 words); name of panel chair (if nominating a specific chair).

The deadline for submission of proposals is Wednesday 8 April 2020. Please send proposals by email attachment to: bchs@leeds.ac.uk

The conference organising committee consists of: Roger Baxter (University of Sheffield); Eleanor Bland (University of Leeds); David Churchill (University of Leeds); Kisby Dickinson (University of Leeds); Elliott Keech (University of York); Henry Yeomans (University of Leeds).

Please direct any queries to: bchs@leeds.ac.uk

Black and white image of an Underwood typewriter circa 1920s. The keyboard, reels and ribbon are all damaged, some keys are missing. The typewriter sits on a desk with an old-fashioned chair in the background and a telephone of the old two-piece (ear and mouth pieces) type.
Typewriter belonging to Nathan Leopold Jr., part of the evidence against him and Richard Loeb for the murder of Robert Franks, Chicago, 1924. Chicago Tribune Historical Photo. 


  

Monday, 11 November 2019

Special Edition of the Prison Service Journal

‘Understanding from the Past’: 


A new edition of the Prison Service Journal has been published, edited by Alana Barton and Alyson Brown, advancing new historical perspectives on prisons, punishment and criminal justice in local, national and international contexts.

Made up of seven short articles, the issue covers a wide range of topics from prison planning and building, female prison reformers, prisoner suicides, drunkenness in prison, the experience of Suffragette prisoners and representations of prisoner uprisings in Hollywood films.

Contributors include Allan Brodie, Helen Elfleet, Thomas Guiney, Chris Holligan, Rhiannon Pickin, Craig Stafford and Alex Tepperman. The edition is available Open Access and can be downloaded here (links directly to PDF). 

  
Black and white aerial image of a castle or prison complex, overlaid with text in blue: Prison Service Journal November 2019, No 246, Special Edition: Understanding from the past
Prison Service Journal No. 246 cover, cover photograph (c) Allan Brodie, Senior Investigator, Historic England.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Thematic Issue of Criminology and Criminal Justice

‘The Uses of Historical Criminology’ 


A thematic issue of Criminology and Criminal Justice has been published which presents three original articles on the uses of historical enquiry for criminology. The articles focus on the value of historical enquiry for contextualising, characterising and explaining contemporary issues in crime and criminal justice.

Common themes across the articles include the pitfalls of ‘presentism’ and ‘epocahlism’ in contemporary criminology and the importance of long-term historical perspectives. The contributors are David Churchill, Paul Lawrence and Henry Yeomans.

The issue can be accessed here. A short introduction to the issue is available Open Access via the British Society of Criminology blog at thebscblog.wordpress.com


Black and white vintage photograph of a man wearing a magnifying single eye-piece, closely examining a small item in his hands. He is wearing a white lab coat.
A man wearing a magnifying glass... (1940) Åhlen & Åkerlund via IMS Vintage Photos via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Strategic Policing Review - Insights from Police History?

Call for expressions of interest


The Strategic Review of Policing in England and Wales – hosted by The Police Foundation – has recently issued a call for evidence. The Review has wide-ranging aims to consider the police mission, public expectations of the police, police capabilities and resources, the future of police service and accountability, cross-sector working and police funding. The current call for evidence covers four areas:

1. Understanding crime, threat and demand.
2. Understanding public and societal expectations.
3. Reconsidering the police mission and purpose.
4. Looking ahead.

The deadline for submission of evidence is 20 December 2019. Further information is available here.

Though oriented primarily to current issues and future developments, there is the opportunity to bring some longer-term historical perspectives to bear on these questions. Informal contact with those involved in the Review (via Twitter) indicates they are keen to put current events and debates in the context of historical examples/precursors. So, police historians – and others – this could be a good opportunity to feed some historical context into contemporary policing debates. Should we team up? Dave Churchill is trying to gauge interest – so get in touch with him (d.churchill@leeds.ac.uk) if you might have something to add. 

A black and white photograph of a wet cobbled marketplace. A police call box is at the centre of the image with a person walking by carrying something. There is a row of shops including an old-fashioned Hotel in the background, with the rear of a covered market stall in the middle ground.
Bigg Market [inc. police box], Newcastle upon Tyne ca. 1970 by Laszlo Torday. Public Domain from Newcastle Libraries via Flickr. 


  

Monday, 28 October 2019

Public event in Cambridge this Thursday: 31 October 2019

‘A Poor Prospect Indeed: The State’s Disavowal of Child Abuse Victims in Youth Custody.’


A public seminar is taking place at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge this Thursday, 31 October 2019 at 5.30pm.


Caroline Lanskey and Ben Jarman say:

"Child abuse in youth custody in England and Wales has received an unprecedented degree of official attention in recent years. Historic allegations of abuse by staff in custodial institutions which held children are now being heard by the courts and by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA); some criminal trials have resulted in convictions. More recent allegations have also been investigated in institutions which hold children today. Two persistent questions these investigations prompt are why the victimisation of children in custody went unrecognised for so long, and why its victims have been denied any form of redress. Drawing on original documentary research, we aim to explain why and how state authorities in England and Wales failed to recognise the victimisation of children held in penal institutions between 1960 and 1990, and argue that this failure constitutes a disavowal of the state’s responsibility..."


For more information about this event and to be added to the mailing list for future seminars click here.

A high contrast black and white photograph of a brick wall, highly textured, the bricks are black, the mortar white, set in the English Bond pattern of alternate rows of stretchers and headers.
'Old dark brick wall 02' by Alexandre Boucher via Flickr.com CC BY 2.0

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Special Issue Call for Papers

Organised Crime Post-Brexit

A Call for Papers has been announced for a Special Issue of the journal Trends in Organised Crime with the title ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’? Tackling Serious and Organised Crime post-Brexit.

A detailed description of the scope and aims of the special issue can be downloaded at this link via Google Drive (no log-in required).

Expressions of interest should be submitted to the editors of the special issue, Helena Farrand Carrapico, Alex Hall, and Ekaterina Gladkova (Northumbria University) via the email on the document (Helena Farrand-Carrapico) It should include the author’s name, institutional affiliation, e-mail address, and a 200-word abstract. 

The deadline for submission of expressions of interest is the 15th of September 2019.

A grey line sketch on newspaper of several dozen men, variously dressed, seated and standing on tiered benches in a sort of cage (a courtroom dock?) a uniformed guard stands watch.
Sketch of maxi trial of suspected mafiosi, Palermo, L'Ora 1901. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Herman Diederiks Prize 2019

Applications Open

The International Association for the History of Crime and Criminal Justice (IAHCCJ), with the support of the Fondation Maison des Sciences de L'Homme (FMSH) invite applications to the 2019 Herman Diederiks Prize.

The award, named for IAHCCJ's founding president, rewards an early career researcher for "a novel article relating to the field of crime history and penal justice" with publication in the journal Crime, History & Societies / Crime, Histoire et Sociétés and a research grant of 1,000 Euros. The deadline is 30 September 2019.

For more information, including eligibility and application details, visit the page at FMSH's website.

Image details unknown - via direct link from FMSH website.

Monday, 1 July 2019

BSC Postgraduate Seminar: Thinking differently about harm

Call for papers


The British Society of Criminology Postgraduate Research Committee has announced a seminar day entitled ‘Thinking differently about harm’

 

The event is part of the ‘Thinking Differently’ series which seeks to bring together academics and practitioners to critically explore contemporary issues in criminology. The seminars are a space for postgraduates to contribute to challenging taken-for-granted thinking in criminology and criminal justice.

 

The committee are seeking attendees as well as postgraduate speakers to contribute to this critical discussion of social harm within criminology, criminal justice and beyond. They welcome abstracts from PGRs of no more than 300 words on using a social harm approach in relation to any problem facing criminologists or the criminal justice system. The panel will select a number of submissions to deliver a 20-minute presentation during the seminar day.

 

Abstract Deadline: 10th July

 

For submission instructions, information and registration see the Eventbrite page here.


Black and white film still showing a young woman in a hat tapping on the shoulder of a policeman in 1940s English PC uniform. They are standing outside a shop window.
Man On The Beat / The Police - 1945 British Council Film Collection - CharlieDeanArchives

Sunday, 30 June 2019

BSC Historical Criminology Network Conference retrospective


#HCNet members recently declared the inaugural event of the BSC Historical Criminology Network a resounding success.


The conference, which was held at the University of Plymouth on 9-10 April 2019, sought to advance the Network's aim to promote, develop and embed historical approaches to criminology. 

In three guest posts on the blog, #HCNet members Kate West, Katy Roscoe and Dan Johnson describe their highlights and key take-aways from the event:


#HCNet Conference Report 3

#EarlyCareerResearchers and #HCNet’s future by Kate West



A colleague recently tweeted that ‘The #EarlyCareerResearchers are our future, read them well and let them lead the way ...’. This was evident at the first #HCNet meeting. To see such fantastic early career scholarship is empowering in an academy where so many ECRs labour in positions of precarity. As a young scholar I sought mentorship from senior colleagues. I once asked one of my doctoral supervisors if they’d publish with me and they replied that it would be unfair of them to associate themselves with my research. They were right. It turns out that rather than looking ‘up’ I ought to simply look ‘across’ to my peers. Rhiannon Pickin and Dan Johnson are the epitome of early career self-empowerment, working together to empower one another. Their paper of material culture and the crime museum contributes to ongoing efforts in criminology to theorise emotion, affect and ethical spectatorship in the crime museum. Their move away from so-called iconic sites of trauma and suffering that pepper the canon including Tuol Sleng and Alcatraz is refreshing. Although these sites are important, Rhiannon and Dan demonstrated the extent of unethical spectatorship in local museums here in the United Kingdom. Another highlight was Katherine (Katy) Roscoe’s paper on settler-colonial prison islands. Katy charted a striking optical regime operating on Cockatoo Island (incidentally a voyeuristic site of trauma and suffering today) that decenters a unilateral panoptic (all-seeing) gaze associated with nineteenth century prisons to one that constituted exchanged glances across the water.


Finally, and perhaps what has stayed with me the most, was Kate Lister’s moving keynote. Cultural historians, especially those of emotions, have recently begun to reflect on the separation between emotion and making history. Kate’s keynote was a refreshing, feminist reminder that as embodied, feeling researchers we owe a duty to those we research, not least those who we survive. Nowhere can this be more applicable than in relation to historical criminology. The future is bright for historical criminology, an reflexive and ethical one populated by young, dynamic and thoughtful scholars who are supporting and empowering one another.  


Kate West is Lecturer in Criminology at Oxford Brookes University. Kate researches visual, material, and aural cultures of crime from the eighteenth century to the present day. Her first monograph What Was Criminology: An Unlikely Art History is in preparation.


Black and white photograph of a sofa and coffee table lit by a window with a wall full of shelves of books behind
'Home Fires (where my books wait for me)' by Dayna Bateman via Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

#HCNet Conference Report 2

Who Speaks? Digital Technology and Crime Histories by Katy Roscoe


While attending the Historical Criminology Conference in Plymouth last month, I was struck by the changing role of digital technologies in researching and communicating crime history.

Kate West (Oxford Brookes) discussed our increased reliance on digital texts which diverts our attention from the visuality of books. West’s example of a digitisation with an obscured frontispiece, reminded me of how keyword searching misses the front-page of online 19th-century newspapers. Both frontispieces and frontpages offer cultural, social and material context to individuals’ crime histories.
      
Digital technology was also a theme of Rhiannon Pickin (Leeds Beckett) and Dan Johnson’s (York) paper on representations of women offenders in prison museums. Some museums were drawn to technology at the expense of nuanced historical narratives. For example, a projection of an executed woman, portrayed by an actor with a noose around her neck, talking about finding fame as a condemned criminal. On the other hand, they pointed to the free availability of digital primary sources as a possible solution for under-resourced museums seeking to reconfigure these narratives.

Kate Lister’s (Leeds Trinity) keynote offered insights into social media as a platform for engagement and activism. Lister’s twitter account @WhoresOfYore put her into contact with the sex workers, who challenged her representation of ‘their’ histories.  Social media offers an alternative, corrective platform to ‘old’ media (e.g. newspapers, TV, popular books) that often silence and stigmatise sex workers. In my view, there is a particular imperative for crime historians to use technology as a tool of engagement, since podcasts and streaming services are at the heart of a growing audience for ‘true crime’. As crime historians we can offer critical, contextualised narratives as a corrective to sensationalised offerings that delve into the psychology of perpetrators, at the expense of women and children as victims.


Katy Roscoe is an ESRC postdoctoral fellow at the University of Liverpool, with her project “Criminals incapable of reform?" Re-assessing the population of Cockatoo Island Prison (Sydney), 1839-69’. Katy works on crime & punishment in the British Empire (Australia, Bermuda and Gibraltar), on topics including Indigeneity/race, labour, and maritime geographies.


Greyscale aerial photograph of a heavily industrialised island in the middle of a grey sea, a city visible on land in the distance.
Hurley, Frank. (1951). Cockatoo Docks[Sydney] National Library of Australia: http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-157519531


#HCNet Conference Report

#HCNet The Plenaries by Dan Johnson

  
The HCNet Conference 2019 brought together criminologists and crime historians to present research on a wide range of interesting topics. Although the various panels were engaging and thought provoking, the two plenary speakers, Barry Godfrey and Kate Lister, bookended the conference beautifully, creating a tone and line of thought that ran throughout each session. Barry Godfrey opened the conference with his paper, ‘J’Accuse Crime History? What is the point of us?’ The major idea that I took away was that the big challenge of historical criminology as a community is not about the collection of knowledge, but how to make an impact. How are we as a group of academics going to use our knowledge and research to better our local communities and national policy? This so something that we all need to think about in relation to our work in this field. Godfrey’s plenary opened into a lively discussion and debate that spilled into the rest of the conference. As the conference was drawing to a close, Kate Lister’s paper, ‘Making the past present: the future of historical activism in criminology‘, was a highlight not to be missed. Lister gave a powerful paper about her activism in the sex work industry and how we as historical criminologists could use our research to make an ethical impact in local communities. As with Godfrey’s plenary, Lister’s sparked healthy discussion and debate, illustrating the real-world impact that our field can have. The two plenaries together influenced discussion throughout the conference and beyond.


Dan Johnson is a Ph.D. Researcher in the Department of History at the University of York and the Institute for the Public Understanding of the Past (IPUP). His research focuses on narratives of poverty and punishment in British prison museums. He is the co-recipient of the 2019 Herman Diederiks Prize granted by the International Association for the History of Crime and Criminal Justice.


Black and white image of five women sitting in wooden chairs, they are turned around in their chairs to face the camera, each is wearing a black and white striped 'prison uniform' and there are two men and a woman, not in uniform, similarly seated. They appear to be on a stage as a seated crowd is visible beyond.
Photographer and date unknown. 'Women dressed in prison uniforms...' Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library via Flickr CC-BY-2.0

Monday, 24 June 2019

Towards New Histories of Imprisonment in England, 1500-1850

Two-day conference

A two-day conference on prisons and incarceration in England is taking place at Keble College, Oxford, on 15 and 16 July 2019, funded by the college and the Past and Present Society. 

The conference will bring together senior academics and early career researchers to share their ongoing research into English imprisonment, discuss recent developments in the field, and set out new agendas for the history of prisons and imprisonment. 

Speakers include Richard Bell, Joanna Innes, Helen Johnston, Kiran Mehta, Helen Rogers and Rachel Weil. 

There are no attendance fees but please RSVP via the conference website.
  

An architectural drawing of the front elevation of a long brick building with scale floor plan beneath, showing thick lines for walls and annotations in cursive script.
Elevation and Plan of Newgate Prison (1800), Public Domain according to Wikimedia Commons. Original in the Crace Collection at the at the British Library. [http://www.bl.uk/collections/map_crace.html]