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Our Criminal Past

‘Our Criminal Past’ is an interdisciplinary research network of UK-based stakeholders who are working academically and/or professionally in the field of the criminal, legal and penal history of Britain.

The creation of the network was in recognition of the growing importance of ‘our criminal past’, not only to academics but also to archivists, heritage professionals, educationalists and others in the wider community who have an investment in how our criminal past is to be preserved, presented and transmitted. Three inter-related themes have been identified as important areas of cross and multidisciplinary interest in terms of previous, current and future research that have contemporary and cultural significance beyond the academia. These are: Digitisation: Social Media and Crime History; Educating Historians of Crime: Classroom, Archive, Community; and Representing Penal Histories: Displaying and Narrating our Criminal Past.

Our series of network events brought together experts from a range of disciplines, including history, criminology, education, tourism and cultural studies, with archivists and those engaged in an educational and heritage capacity in museums and prisons. The events were a forum for discussion and debate about future strategic research planning and collaborations, the sustainability of research in relation to new technology and funding streams, and the role of individuals, communities and institutions in shaping and preserving our criminal past. Through the sharing of expertise and good practice, we explored ideas that would lead to new projects in the history of crime, thus ‘Caring for the Future’ of the history of crime.

 

Key Contacts

Professor Helen Johnston, University of Hull: h.johnston@hull.ac.uk

Professor Heather Shore, Leeds Beckett University: h.shore@leedsbackett.ac.uk

 

Events

Event 1: Our Criminal Past: Digitisation, Social Media and Crime History, London Metropolitan Archives, 17 May 2013

Event 2: Our Criminal Past: Educating Historians of Crime: Classroom, Archive, Community, Broadcasting Place, Leeds Beckett University, 6 September 2013

Event 3: Our Criminal Past: Representing Penal Histories: Displaying and Narrating the Criminal Past, Galleries of Justice, Nottingham, 31 January 2014

Latest Updates on Twitter

The @howard_journal is 100 this year!

Articles from an international line-up of academics and practitioners will appear in a centenary issue, to be published next month.

Book your place and join us online on 14 October to hear from our panel of experts: https://howardleague.org/events/100-years-of-the-howard-journal-lessons-for-contemporary-penal-policy/

Very excited by our panel starting shortly on 'Family Limitation' for @Preg_Research: Fionnuala Walsh (@ucddublin) on unwanted pregnancies in early 20th C Ireland; @DelayCara on Irish criminal abortion 1900-50, and myself on infanticide in England & Wales during the Great War 🤩

The book chapter “The patient's view as history from below: evidence from the Victorian poor, 1834-71”, by Paul Carter and Steve King, is the latest published output from our @ahrcpress- funded @TheirWrite project. https://bit.ly/3C9axPK

As new drama #thenorthwater arrives on BBC Two, set against the brutal backdrop of a 19th-century whaling vessel, @kejamieson_ explains more about the whaling industry and the risks that hunting these ocean behemoths posed to sailors’ lives… https://bit.ly/2XhDCth

Just a little over two weeks now until my next book, Tracing Your Irish Ancestors Through Land Records, is published by @Penswordbooks - you can pre-order a copy at https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Tracing-Your-Irish-Ancestors-Through-Land-Records-Paperback/p/19283
I hope it helps! 😃
#genealogy #familyhistory #Ireland #NorthernIreland

Finally, our cover story" Jordanna Bailkin from @UW, on History in Practice; "reflects on the experience of writing a book about the history of #refugee camps in Britain during the global refugee crisis." https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14490854.2021.1956341

Amazing to get a chance to contribute to the @BritSocCrim newsletter in a cross-continental collab with the great @tcguiney discussing the @ANZHistCrim & #HCNet discussion series on historical criminology we helped lead in July!

Check it out here: https://www.britsoccrim.org/publications/bscnewsletters/

We are already looking forward to contributing to this very special event in such an important year for @TheHowardLeague

📣 We're excited to announce our first Zoom #event on 14th Sep!

This month's guest speaker is Steve Pearce. Steve has had a long #policing career in #Devon & #Cornwall and is our new Chair of Trustees.

Members: Free
Non-members: £5.50

For more info see https://bit.ly/38LflOQ