Six PhD Studentships: Liverpool, Sheffield and Tasmania

The Digital Panopticon Project is delighted to announce the availability of six PhD studentships, funded by both the AHRC and the participating Universities.  These are exciting opportunities to exploit the rich resources collected by the Project while working within a large team of interdisciplinary experts in both the UK and Australia.

In each case, applications must be made to the institution at which the studentship will be held. Deadlines are as follows (please note update to Liverpool and Sheffield deadlines):

  • Sheffield: 28 July 
  • Liverpool: 28 July 
  • Tasmania: 31 July

Sheffield/Liverpool interviews will be held 11-12 August. The AHRC-funded studentship (Impact of digital history resources) is open to UK/EU students only. The other LIverpool and Sheffield studentships are also open to international students, but please note that only UK/EU-level tuition fees can be covered, and you would need to make up the fees shortfall. The studentships will also include a maintenance grant (currently around £13000 p.a.). Please contact UTAS for more details about eligibility/funding levels for the Tasmania studentship.

University of Liverpool

Longitudinal studies of the health of the poor

Using prison data (from both local prisons and national penitentiaries) this studentship will examine the height/weight and the health histories of working class men and women over the course of their lives. We have access to a huge and detailed database on the chronic and acute illnesses of thousands of prisoners in the British convict system, and they will allow the PhD researcher to examine what illnesses were prevalent, how they were treated, what impact they had over the lifetime of the prisoner, the longevity of life of the prisoner, and a range of other possible issues. This studentship will appeal to students of the history of medicine; social historians, and crime historians; and the student will be supported by an experienced team of interdisciplinary researchers and experts in convict/health history.

The lives and criminal careers of convicts in the 19th century

This studentship will follow, chart, and analyse the lives of offenders tried at the Old bailey both before their appearance at court, during their sentence, and afterwards when they were released. The PhD will examine the reasons why offenders began their criminal career, the impact that punishment in the British convict prison system had on them, and how that legacy carried over into their lives after they re-entered society. This is an exciting opportunity to study criminal careers using historical data, working with experts in the field. The studentship will appeal to researchers in nineteenth-century social history, history of crime, criminal careers, and/or desistence studies.

For more information on either of the Liverpool studentships:

  • Academic queries about the project and studentships should be addressed to Prof. Barry Godfrey, Barry.Godfrey@liverpool.ac.uk.
  • For information about applications contact Rebekah Hughes, slsjpgr@liv.ac.uk.

 

University of Sheffield

The Social and Spatial Worlds of Old Bailey Convicts, 1785-1875

The studentship will investigate the social and geographical origins and destinations of men and women convicted at the Old Bailey between 1785 and 1875, in order to shed light on patterns of mobility, the causes of crime, and understandings of identity in early industrial Britain.  Using evidence of origins from judicial records, the project will trace convicts from their places of origin, through residence and work in London before their arrests, to (if imprisoned) places of imprisonment and subsequent life histories.  Analysis of the language used in trial testimonies can provide an indication of how identities were shaped by complex backgrounds, and evidence of criminal and convict mobility has the potential to contribute to our understanding of geographical mobility and social integration before and after the introduction of the railroads.   This is an exciting opportunity to use newly assembled data to study the lives of non-elite people. The studentship will appeal to researchers interested in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century social history, the history of crime, and geographical and social mobility.

For more information, and to apply, go to http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/scholarships/projects/oldbaileyconvicts

The Impact of Digital Resources in the History of Crime

This project will examine the impact of the widespread availability of digital resources on attitudes towards crime and its history.  Core case studies will include the Old Bailey Proceedings Online, Founders and Survivors (records of the 73,000 men women and children who were transported to Tasmania), and, following its launch, the Digital Panopticon website.  This project will investigate both academic and non-academic uses of internet information provided in the UK and Australia, using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methodologies.  A wide range of sources can be used to measure the extent to which these sites have shaped how the history of crime has been written, and to assess their impact on users’ perceptions of the crimes and punishments, including individual criminal lives, documented on these websites.  It will also be possible to investigate how using these resources has shaped wider attitudes towards crime and punishment in contemporary society.  The studentship will appeal to researchers interested in the history of crime, public history, and the digital humanities. AHRC-funded.

For more information, and to apply, go to http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/scholarships/projects/digitalresources

Criminal Recidivism in 18th and 19th-Century London

The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries witnessed the development of the concepts of habitual  offending and the criminal class.  Taking advantage of the extensive records of both petty and serious crime digitised and linked together by the Digital Panopticon project, this studentship will investigate these phenomena from the perspective of the judicial records, by tracing the incidence and character of repeat offending.  The project will seek to understand the extent to which multiple arrests were a product of policing and/or underlying criminal activity, to identify the social and cultural factors which made some Londoners prone to reoffending and rearrest, and to examine the relationship between the chronology of recidivism and the evolution of contemporary thought about reoffending.  This research will allow the student to draw some conclusions about both the causes of crime and the background to nineteenth-century thought about crime.  It will appeal to researchers interested in the history of crime and policing, and the social history of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century England more generally.

For more information, and to apply, go to http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/research/scholarships/projects/criminalrecidivism

University of Tasmania

Labour Markets and Convict Offending

Who amongst the convicts sent to Britain’s nineteenth-century penal colony in Van Diemen’s Land were put to hard labour or ordered to work in irons? Did these patterns change over time, and if so, were they driven by convict behaviour, changes in penal administration, or the performance of the wider colonial economy?  This project will provide an outstanding opportunity for a student with a background in history, economics or sociology to explore these questions while working as part of an international team of researchers. As well as conducting their own archival research the successful applicant will be given access to an extensive existing database of convicts and associated records.

Applications for the Tasmania studentship close on 31 July.

For more information contact Trevor Scaife, Trevor.Scaife@utas.edu.au

 

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About Richard Ward

Richard completed his Ph.D. in History at the University of Sheffield in 2011. His research interests are in the history of crime and justice in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain, particularly penal practices and the interaction between print culture, public opinion and criminal justice. Between 2011 and 2013 he worked as a Research Associate at the University of Leicester on a Wellcome Trust funded project, 'Harnessing the Power of the Criminal Corpse'. In 2012 he was awarded the Herman Diederiks Prize by the International Association for the History of Crime and Criminal Justice for his article ‘Print Culture, Moral Panic, and the Administration of the Law: The London Crime Wave of 1744′, published in the journal Crime, History & Societies. Richard's first monograph, 'Print Culture, Crime and Justice in Eighteenth-Century London', is forthcoming in 2014 with Bloomsbury. It will provide the first detailed study of crime reporting across a range of eighteenth-century publications (including newspapers, the Old Bailey Proceedings, Ordinary's Accounts and graphic prints) to explore the influence of print upon contemporary perceptions of crime and upon the making of the law and its administration in the metropolis.