BSC Historical Criminology Network



Dr Esmorie Miller

Looking Back … The Story So Far

The network has its own site and is looking for bite-sized blog posts on anything related to its core theme – new events, calls for papers, publications, research projects, book recommendations, news items, teaching resources, job opportunities and more. 

Network website: 

The introduction of Alexa Neale’s Photographing Crime Scenes in Twentieth-Century London – which explores microhistories of metropolitan domestic murder is currently free to read on our blog.

The Historical Criminology Network is centrally concerned with promoting, developing and embedding historical approaches to criminology. Its principal aims are as follows:

  1. To promote historical scholarship within criminology.
  2. To forge closer dialogue between historical researchers working on topics relevant to criminology.
  3. To encourage use of historical resources in research and teaching in criminology.

The Chair will be responsible for the smooth running of the Network, and will normally serve for a term of three years. The Chair will appoint a Steering Group from amongst members to assist with the running of the Network. Approximately six months prior to the expiration of the Chair’s term, all members of the Network will be contacted, inviting those who are eligible to stand for the position. If more than one candidate comes forward, a vote of all Network members will be held. If no candidate comes forward, the existing Chair may serve for an additional 12 months.

Forthcoming Events


Please check the BSC Events page or the BSC member’s bulletin for upcoming events.


Past Events

Locating contemporary concerns within wider historical criminological interests, in academia and beyond

3 April 2024, 4—5.30pm (BST) 

Dr Lufuno Sadiki is a lecturer in Criminology, at the University of Cape Town. Her work intersects with historical criminology, especially in the context of decolonization, including Violent Crime, Political Offences and Criminology Theory.

Presentation: Criminology in Africa: A counter European rebirth?

24 April 2024, 4—5.30pm (BST)

Dr Julian Molina is a lecturer in Public Policy, in the School for Policy Studies, at the University of Bristol. Julian works on the intersections of social studies of social science and administrative criminologies, government analytical professions and its data infrastructures, crime policy and forensic borders.
Presentation: Tinker, Tailor, Statistician, Spycop: Infrastructures of British Criminology and Undercover Policing in 1981

13 March 2024, 4—5.30pm (BST)

Dr Leah Cleghorn is a Lecturer in Criminology within the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, at Nottingham Trent University. Leah’s work has focused on crime and criminal justice in the Caribbean region, with interests are in victims of crime and their access to justice, domestic violence, and intimate partner violence, historical criminology as well as decolonial criminology.
Presentation: Exploring colonial penal system in the Anglophone Caribbean: Engaging in Archival Research.

7 February 2024, 4—5.30pm (BST)

Dr Emma Watkins is a lecturer in criminology in the Department of Social Policy at the University of Birmingham. Emma is an historical criminologist who uses digital technologies with historical documentation and criminological methodologies. Presentation: The criminalisation and control of the poor: A look at nineteenth-century Tasmanian Pauper-Emancipists.

17 January 2024, 4—5.30pm (BST)

Dr Tahaney Alghrani is an early career researcher, working closely with Liverpool University and University of Central Lancaster. Her work includes explorations of the role of Victorian Penal Institutions, for juvenile females. Presentation: Imperial Criminology: The attempts to establish Juvenile institutions in parts of the Empire, highlighting decolonisation of Criminology.

13 December 2023, 4—5.30pm (BST)

Dr Lufuno Sadiki is a lecturer in the Department of Social Work and Criminology, at the University of Pretoria. Her work intersects with historical criminology, especially in the context of decolonization, including Violent Crime, Political Offences and Criminology Theory Presentation: Criminology in Africa: A counter European rebirth?

6 December 2023, 4—5.30pm (BST)

Dr Geoff Ward is a professor of African and African American Studies at the Washington University in St Louis, where his work examines the haunting legacies of historical racial violence and implications for redress. Presentation: An Historical Analysis of Youth Justice in the African American Experience: Some Methods and Benefits of a Long View.

15 November 2023, 4—5.30pm (BST)

Dr Mary Fraser (FRHistS) is a social researcher in the SCCJR at the University of Glasgow. She works on the history of police work in Britain. Presentation: British Policemen and their Role in the Food Crisis during the Great War, 1917-1918—Police as Ploughmen (Forthcoming 2024, Palgrave Macmillan).

BSC Historical Criminology Network meet the author events

The aim of this series is to provide a platform to support rich discussion about historical criminology amongst those with an interest, in academia and beyond. Ultimately, we aim to promote new ideas on historical criminology, continuing to widen awareness and generate rich conversation.

Historical criminology as a tool is relevant for the classroom, for research, and appeals to a wider public fascination concerning the role of history in our lives. The event offers the opportunity to meet the authors of new works (not necessarily books alone), including the possibility to pose a range of questions about the content of their work and their approach to historical methodology itself. Attendance offers the opportunity to generate discussion about the role of historical criminology, bringing together a diversity of ideas.

Presenter Biographies & Session Information:

17 May 2023, 4-5.30pm  – Eleanor Bland. Book: Policing Suspicion: Proactive Policing in London, 1780-1850, Routledge. Dr Eleanor Bland is a Lecturer in Criminology at Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom.

31 May 2023, 4-5.30pm  – Lynsey Black. Book: Gender and Punishment in Ireland: Women, Murder and the Death Penalty, 1922-64. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Dr Lynsey Black is a Lecturer / Assistant Professor in Criminology at Maynooth University, Dublin, Ireland.

Locating contemporary concerns within wider historical criminological interests, in academia and beyond.

About this event

What role can a historical criminology platform have in matters of contemporary concern? Where do our contemporary concerns with topics such as anti-fascism, decolonization, gender, free speech, and critical race theory intersect with the multidisciplinary logics guiding criminological observance of historical methods, pedagogies, and wider community participatory action? @BSC’s #HCNet brings together a seminar series covering this multidisciplinary range of contemporary ideas, allowing attendees to ‘meet’ specialists virtually, taking the opportunity to interrogate the extent which history intersects with the contemporary. Our aim is to provide a platform to support rich discussion, with the chance to locate contemporary conversations within wider historical criminological interests, in academia and beyond

This event will be delivered via Zoom. You will receive the joining instructions in your confirmation email and again a few days before the event.

Presenter Biographies & Session Information

12 April 2023, 4-5.30pm

Workshopping Critical Race Theory in British Criminology: Why the Outrage? 

Dr Esmorie Miller is a Lecturer in Criminology, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK.

1 March 2023, 12-1.30pm (BST)

Moral Panics and the Free Speech ‘Crisis’ on Campus: Using Critical Criminology to Examine the History of ‘No Platforming’ at British Universities

Dr Evan Smith – Lecturer in History at Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia. 

19 October 2022, 4-5.30pm (BST)

What is Fascism and Where Does it Come From?

 Dr Geoff Eley – Karl Pohrt Distinguished University Professor of Contemporary History, University of Michigan, USA. 

Chair: Lizzie Seal

You can view Dr Eley’s presentation here.

2 November 2022, 4-5.30pm (BST)

Decolonialization and Counter-Colonial Criminology

Dr Biko Agozino – Professor of Sociology, Virginia Tech University, Virginia, USA.

Chair: Esmorie Miller

 9 November 2022, 4-5.30pm (BST)

Anti-Gender Politics in the Populist Moment 

Dr Elzbieta Korolczuk – Associate professor in sociology, Sodertorn University, Stockholm Sweden.

30 November 2022, 4-5.30pm (BST)

Racist-Gendered State Violence: Punishing Migrant Women and Separating Families

 Dr Monish Bhatia – Lecturer in Criminology, Birkbeck University, London, UK.


University College Dublin, 2/3 June 2022


 ***The Deadline for Submissions is 1 October 2021 ***

In 1981, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher declared resolutely that ‘crime is crime is crime’. The statement had mortal consequences, effectively condemning to death Bobby Sands and fellow IRA hunger strikers holding out for prisoner-of-war status in HM Prison Maze. However, Thatcher’s declaration was belied, then and now, by the reality that notions of crime and criminality are not fixed but constantly under negotiation, particularly in times of crisis and great societal change, such as war. Sociologists Sveinung and Fondevila argue that volatile periods ‘give rise to new types of criminal, reignite old ones, and repurpose justifications for crime’. History bears out their claim.

During the First World War, French senator Louis Martin proposed the suspension of legal penalties for abortion in the invaded territories where the rape of French women by advancing German forces was endemic. The London Blitz of 1940-1941 created diversions that allowed nefarious activity to flourish, including the smashing of shop windows and looting of stores, by thieves disguised as wardens. During the Cold War, leftist thought became tantamount to subversion in the United States and Senator Joseph McCarthy brought hundreds of Americans before the House Un-American Activities Committee to investigate treason. Such anecdotes provide a window into the relationship between war and crime/criminality that this conference aims to investigate. The adage ‘war makes monsters’ tells only part of the story. Indeed, evidence suggests that war makes criminals of some, while exonerating others. It creates a context for the renegotiation of what constitutes ‘crime’. It provides cover for certain varieties of misdeed and trains a spotlight on others.

‘War Makes Monsters: Crime and Criminality in Times of Conflict’ takes a global approach to understanding crime in wartime as both a cultural construction and a product of circumstances. We therefore invite scholars interested in any aspect of crime and criminality in wartime, from the medieval period to the present day, to submit proposals for papers that will allow us to gain new insights into the relationship between war and crime/criminality across time and space.


We welcome proposals for individual papers of an historical nature. Postgraduate students and early-career researchers are especially encouraged to apply. The conference is intended to offer a constructive environment in which to workshop new, unpublished material, with the goal of producing a special journal issue, edited by the conference organizers. We anticipate being able to provide limited financial support in the form of waived attendance costs and complimentary accommodation.

  • Paper proposals must include a paper title, a 500-word abstract of the paper, and a two-page CV with current contact information / email address.
  • The deadline for proposals is 1 October 2021. Please send all the relevant paperwork to: Organizers will make a decision on the final programme by the end of December 2021.
  • If selected, participants will be required to submit a full draft of their papers (8,000-10,000 words) by 1 May 2022 for pre-circulation.

Questions about the CfP can be directed to conference organizers, Julie M. Powell (University College Dublin) and Claire Eldridge (University of Leeds) at

Future events will be announced in the bi-monthly bulletin.

Historical Criminology International Networking Event

Dates: 14th and 15th July 2021

Location: Zoom.

Hosted jointly by the BSC Historical Criminology Network and the Australian and New Zealand Historical Criminology Network.

Over two short meetings on 14 and 15 July, we brought together scholars for an opportunity to meet others with similar research interests in historical criminology. This allowed us to discuss how we might think and work differently, to discuss research in progress or in the pipeline, and to connect with colleagues from the UK, Australia, New Zealand and beyond. Sessions included:

  1. PhD and ECR support
  2. Digital data methods and historical criminology
  3. Researching recent histories
  4. Decolonisation and indigenisation
  5. Criminalisation and policing of women
  6. Vulnerabilities of victims in the criminal justice system

Organisers: David Churchill ( and Vicky Nagy (

Historical Criminology Workshop

Forging new conversations and collaborations in criminology

(Also see the blog article published on this event)

15 June 2020

Event organiser: David Churchill (University of Leeds) –

This virtual workshop was designed to bring together scholars to initiate conversations around common interests or new directions for research in criminology.

The workshop comprised working groups on the following topics: mobile methods; police corruption; history and interdisciplinarity; atonement; dark tourism; path dependence and criminal justice institutions; and protection. Over 50 people joined the event from 7 countries, participating in fruitful and wide-ranging discussions. The event was lived scribed by Laura Evans of Nifty Fox Creative, leaving an engaging visual record of the day’s discussions. Some groups are already planning further meetings to take their discussions forward, potentially with a view to publications. A full write up of the event will follow soon.

Event image


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Historical Criminology Conference 2019

Linking past and present in criminological research

9-10 April 2019

Confirmed plenary speakers:

Prof Barry Godfrey (University of Liverpool)

Dr Kate Lister (Leeds Trinity University)

This inaugural event of the BSC Historical Criminology Network (in association with the BSC South West Branch) provided an open forum for discussion of relations between past and present in criminological research.


The first meeting of the new British Society of Criminology Historical Criminology network took place on Monday 10 September, in London. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the aims, scope and strategy of the network and to plan its initial activities.

Joining and staying in touch

Membership of the Network is open to anyone with an interest in historical approaches to criminology, broadly conceived. To receive updates of the Network’s activities, please contact Esmorie Miller:

Contact the Network

If you would like to know more about the Network, please contact Esmorie Miller: