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:

#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. []


Wednesday, 17 April 2019

CFP: Framing the Penal Colony

Event at the National Justice Museum, Nottingham, 22-23 November 2019

An AHRC-funded conference has been announced as part of the ‘Postcards from the bagne’ project which will be held at the National Justice Museum in Nottingham, UK. The project website can be found here.

The CFP says:
‘Whether presented as a tabula rasa onto which all the hopes, desires, pathologies and detritus of Empire might be projected, as a brilliant story of nation-state building via a hearty mix of backbreaking labour and genocide, or as an abandoned scarred landscape of failed utopian dreams, the penal colony is a space as much imagined as real. This conference will explore historical and contemporary representations of the penal colony as philosophical concept, political project and geographical imaginary. While direct challenges to existing historiographies are anticipated, the intention is to consider the role of visual culture, maps, photography, cinema, graphic novels/comics, museums in 'framing' the penal colony alongside literature, philosophy, politics. If the penal colony is generally considered to belong to the past, its legacy remains in the form of the prison islands and convict labour camps still operative across the globe. What can historical and contemporary representations of the penal colony tell us about its continuing legacy and what opportunities do such representations offer for thinking critically and creatively about our own ‘carceral’ present?’

Proposals for panels or papers are welcome. Please send 250-word abstracts and a short bio to by 30 June 2019.

A painting of a dozen men in uniform pulling a plough, supervised by another man with some kind of stick or weapon
Painter's impression of a convict ploughing team breaking up new ground at Port Arthur, 1926. Via WikimediaCommons attributed to State Library of Victoria, image no. a11602.


Tuesday, 16 April 2019

One Day Conference at the Open University

Prisons, Courts and Police Stations: The Architecture of the State in Historical Perspective

On Friday 17 May 2019, the Centre for the History of Crime, Policing and Justice at the Open University will be hosting a one day conference featuring eight papers. A copy of the programme, paper abstracts, travel and registration information can be found on Eventbrite here.

The event will be held in The Library (Seminar Rooms 1 & 2) at Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, and the first paper will begin at 11:00.  Tea and coffee will be served on arrival from 10:30 and lunch will be provided. It is expected that the event will finish by 16:30.

There is no charge for the event or for the lunch (which will be provided) but booking is required to facilitate the catering order. To reserve a place, visit the Eventbrite page by 10 May 2019.

Line drawing of a semi-aerial view of a prison with four branches extending from a central section, plus gatehouse and perimeter wall, gardens etc.
Wandsworth Prison image via event website


Thursday, 4 April 2019

New Research Network for ECRs Calls for Abstracts

Perspectives from the Edges of Exclusion and Punishment

Details are circulating of an exciting new research network for ECRs (Early Career Researchers) with an interest in punishment, funded by the SCCJR (Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research).

PEEP: Perspectives from the Edges of Exclusion and Punishment, define punishment broadly, and are "interested in creating a forum for inter-disciplinary perspectives on how government policy punishes people, causes social suffering, excludes people from society and entrenches inequality..." including "through the criminal justice system... housing policy, social welfare, immigration detention, benefit sanctions, health inequalities, as well as historical forms of confinement and punishment, such as mother and baby homes, the death penalty and transportation."

Offering a supportive space for the scholarship of ECRs, which they say is urgently required, PEEP seeks to "forge solidarity between ECRs from across disciplines" and "generate the creative energy needed to conduct individual and collaborative academic work."

Workshops: Call for Abstracts

PEEP also announces an open call for abstracts for three half-day workshops where ECRs can refine and advance work-in-progress, such as articles, book chapters, book proposals etc. Participants are expected to attend each workshop and will be asked to present a 20 minute paper on one of the following three days:

  • 23 May at the University of Edinburgh
  • 24 June at the University of Strathclyde
  • 26 July University of Stirling

Some financial support is available for travel, childcare or other expenses. For details on how to join PEEP and submit an abstract, click here. The deadline is Friday 19 April. 

A grey and black on white floor plan of an extensive and complex building including Library, Grave Yard, Court Room, Prison, Court of Session, High Court and Judges' Rooms
Plan of Parliament House, Edinburgh, 1877 via Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Leeds Historical Criminology Seminar #4

Rethinking the Death Penalty: Mitigation, Abolition and After

2019 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the permanent abolition of the death penalty for murder in Great Britain. To mark the occasion, the fourth event in the Leeds Historical Criminology Seminar Series will provide an opportunity to examine the past, present and future of the death penalty.

The event will bring together academics, activists, students and others to discuss inter-related issues, including the historical realities of the death penalty in mid-twentieth century Britain, the rise of abolition in the USA, as well as the policy of the current UK government towards the use of the death penalty overseas.

It will feature presentations from Dr Lizzie Seal (University of Sussex), Dr Vivien Miller (University of Nottingham) and Frances Crook OBE (Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform).

The event will conclude with a roundtable that enables participants to discuss the past and present of capital punishment worldwide, as well as its future. This is a free event and it is open to the public.

The event takes place at Leeds Beckett University on the 19th June. Please register via Eventbrite here.

An etching or illustration for publication in black and white of a man seated in a chair with his head restrained, wires are coming from the chair and there are three men looking on, one of whom is holding a book and wearing a cross, another is seated and holding a switch.
Scientific American, 1888 via WikimediaCommons


Saturday, 2 March 2019

The ESRC and the Futures of Criminological Research: A BSC/CCJ Symposium

Save the Date - from the BSC Bulletin

The BSC, in conjunction with its journal Criminology & Criminal Justice is holding an afternoon symposium in Edinburgh on the 5th of April about what the future holds for criminological research.

Speakers will include Richard Sparks, who was last year commissioned by the ESRC to write a  think-piece on the future directions and possibilities in research on crime and justice which is due to be published shortly; the President Elect of the BSC Sandra Walklate; BSC Vice President Pam Davies; and the CCJ editors in chief. 

The programme will include plenty of time for discussion and debate.

Tickets are available via Eventbrite.

A black and white photograph of a procession of people carrying banners saying, for example, Votes for Women, they are marching diagonally from the top right of the frame to the bottom left and the Edinburgh skyline is visible in the background.
"The Great Procession and Women's Demonstration" Princes Street, Edinburgh, 9th October, 1909. Photograph by James Patrick, 1863 - 1933 via WikiCommons. 


Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Registration Open for #HCNet Conference

Provisional programme announced

#HCNet are pleased to announce the provisional programme and registration details for the first Historical Criminology Network conference, to be held 9-10 April 2019 at the University of Plymouth.

We originally posted about the conference here.

Click here to register, registration is free. The link also includes information on travel, hotel booking and an optional evening meal. Please ensure that you register for the conference by Friday 22 March.

If you have any queries, or require any further information about the conference, please don’t hesitate to contact organisers David Churchill or Iain Channing. Their info is available on our Members page.

The programme may be subject to minor revisions ahead of the conference. Click below to download the most up-to-date version (21 March 2019) via GoogleDrive (sign-in not required). 


Tuesday, 5 February 2019

SSHA CFP Deadline Update

Social Science History Association Conference, Chicago 2019

Glenn Svedin of the SSHA Crime, Justice and the Law Network informs us that the submission deadline in response to the Call for Papers has been moved from 16 February to 1 March. A new submission system has been introduced. More information can be found here.

We previously posted about this conference here. It will be held in Chicago, Illinois, USA on 21-24 November. The overall conference theme is 'Data and its Discontents,' the full Call for Papers is here (PDF link) - Graduate Travel Grants are available. The Network Call for Papers can be found below as an image, alternatively a copy is available here via Google Drive (no sign-in required).

If you're planning a session and seeking participants, why not use the comments on this page? They are moderated to prevent spam but the mailbox is regularly attended.

Please use the following link for a text-version of this document more accessible to those with visual impairments:

Monday, 28 January 2019

#HCNet Chair wins book prize

Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) Theory and History Prize

Updated 17/04/19.
Historical Criminology Network Chair David Churchill has been awarded the 2019 Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) Theory and History Prize. The Prize is awarded annually ‘for a book that makes a contribution to socio-legal theory or socio-legal history’. This post previously announced David's nomination. 

David’s book – Crime Control and Everyday Life in the Victorian City: The Police and the Public – was published by Oxford University Press in 2017. It advances a new interpretation of urban policing and crime control in the era of the new police, stressing the role of the civilian public in dealing with crime on their own terms. Further information about the book is available here

The award was announced at the SLSA annual conference, University of Leeds, on 4 April 2019. The list of previous winners of the Prize is available here

A pile of library books in black and white, including Durkheim, Giddens and Bourdieu.
Sociology books by @Cameraman_Phil via Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0


Thursday, 24 January 2019

Confronting the ‘violence of the archive’: crime, punishment and the modern state

Workshop and Call for Papers

Historical Criminology Network members Dr Kate West and Dr Thomas Guiney have announced an event they are organising which will be held at Oxford Brookes University on 22 May 2019. They say

"This 1-day workshop will confront the inherent ‘violence of the archive’ as a key site of collective ‘remembering’ and ‘forgetting’. It will consider the various ways in which the modern state has produced, and subsequently projected knowledge with regards to crime and punishment.

Drawing upon insights from the growing field of historical criminology this workshop will explore this dynamic to encourage new perspectives on the relationship between state and (non-)citizen within criminal justice settings; the lived experiences of individuals subject to state authority; the inner workings of closed penal institutions; and aspects of the penal policy-making cycle which remain hidden from public view. 

Participants will consider the inherent challenges of using state-sanctioned primary sources that risk obscuring, silencing and reconfiguring lived experience and counter-memories. Accordingly, the temporal scope of this workshop is book-ended by the ‘birth’ of the modern state and the ambiguities of contemporary statehood."

More information and the full call for papers can be found here. The deadline for submissions is 29 March. Both event and CFP deadline can be found in our new calendar, by clicking on the 'Events' tab above. 

An historical etching of Oxford High Street with a church spire in the distance at the centre and fine classical architecture on both sides of the wide street. The figures of people and a horse-drawn vehicle can be made out.
City of Oxford: panoramic view of the High Street with views of the colleges and churches. Etching by H. Toussaint. Via Wellcome Images CC-BY-4.0


Saturday, 12 January 2019

Social Science History Association Conference 2019

Call for Papers

The Crime, Justice and the Law Network of the Social Science History Association (SSHA) invites proposals for the network's sessions at the 44th annual meeting of the SSHA, November 21-24, 2019, at Palmer House Hotel, Chicago, Illinois. They say:

"The network includes historians, sociologists, economists, criminologists, geographers, legal scholars, and others who are interested in the history of crime, policing and the law. The network’s purpose is to provide an international forum for the exchange of ideas and research across disciplines and methodologies. The network prides itself in having a global approach to research on criminality and/or judicial and legal systems and encourages comparative perspectives on these subjects. It welcomes critical work on the processes through which the state, through various social control institutions and frontline agencies, evaluates, categorizes and regulates its subjects. Themes involving, for instance, police, violence, asylum, victimization, state power and regulation, crime and societal changes, gender, race, and processes of evaluation and categorization, are welcome."

To submit a proposal, and for more information on the meeting, visit the SSHA website. The deadline for submissions is February 16, 2019.

UPDATE: On 5 February 2019 the CFP Deadline was changed, click here for more information.

Chicago Fog Down by the Water, 1969 by David Sk via CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Friday, 11 January 2019

Prison Abolition in the UK

CCJS Conference

The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies has announced a conference on Prison Abolition in the UK hosted by the Harm & Evidence Research Collaborative at The Open University and the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, in partnership with Professor Joe Sim of Liverpool John Moores University.

The major two day conference plans to discuss the past, present and future of prison abolition across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and will be held on Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th May, at The Open University campus in Milton Keynes. More information can be found on the conference page on their website.

In black and white, a view of a Victorian prison wing from the ground floor looking up through tiers of cells and criss-crossing metal walkways to the glass roof.
'Victorian Wing' Kilmainham Gaol, 2013 by Miguel Mendez via Flickr CC-BY-2.0

Thursday, 10 January 2019

European Social Science History Conference 2020

Call for Papers

The International Institute of Social History (IISH) has opened pre-registration and invites proposals for papers and sessions at the Thirteenth European Social Science History Conference (ESSHC) to be held in Leiden, Netherlands on Wednesday 18th to Saturday 21st March 2020.

ESSHC aims to 'bring together scholars who explain historical phenomena using the methods of the social sciences.' This lively biennial conference features international speakers arranged by networks. The last two conferences, at Belfast in 2018 and Valencia in 2016, saw many high-quality papers from members of the ESSHC Criminal Justice Network, many of whom are also members of #HCNet, the Historical Criminology Network. 

The ESSHC Criminal Justice Network explores all aspects of crime, policing, justice and punishment in all societies, but with a particular focus on the early-modern and modern periods. 

Please feel free to use the comments below if you would like to find other scholars to put together a session proposal. More information, including the call for papers, can be found here.

A monochrome image ca. 1954 of a train on an overhead rail bridge across the centre of the image, with electric cabling above it and a street below it, on the street are a tram and a car and a man walking away in the foreground.
Leiden, Netherlands ca.1954 by railasia via Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0