JCW |Academia

Research interests

Papers presented


I've spent the last several years developing a diverse research, writing and teaching profile. Below, you'll find information about my research, publishing and teaching activities.

Research interests:

I'm primarily, I'd say, a "cultural historian," since what connects the various specific projects I'm working on is an interest in what people thought: about themselves, about what they were doing, and about the world around them. On the other hand, I feel uncomfortable with the tendency, too often, to treat "culture" as a collection of free-floating, endlessly changeable and essentially textual social constructions.

Hence, my interest in connecting "culture" to both social context and human psychology. In the former case, my influences include the social historians of "experience" such as E.P. Thompson (and the work he inspired) and historical sociologists such as Norbert Elias (ditto). In the latter, I'm interested in both understanding how the mind works (so, neuroscience and cognitive psychology above all) as well as why it does so (which brings us to evolutionary psychology).

My specific areas of research have focused on the history of crime and violence and on crime and media (particularly the news media); I have worked on topics in these areas from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, but focused especially on the nineteenth century as well as inter-war period.

More recently, I have developed new research interests beyond the fields of crime and violence with which my career began. In particular, I have an emerging research focus on British intellectual history in the 1930s and 1940s. Between 2012 and 2017 I developed and led a project funded by the German Research Council (DFG), investigating a primarily Christian intellectual circle that sought to understand the contemporary crises in Europe and to sketch out the possibility of a "Christian society" as an alternative. This work was the basis for my Habilitation in 2018 and was published in May 2019 as my third monograph (see below for more details).

Since completing that book, I have begun exploratory research on a new, but related, topic area: the intellectual responses of Christians in post-war Britain (and Europe more broadly) to techological change and the challenge of the "technological society".

In sum, I have three main areas of research.

  • The cultural history of 19th- and 20th- century Britain.
  • Religious and secular responses in Britain to modernisation and social change.
  • The history of crime, violence and policing.

For further information see:


Papers Presented and Talks

  • (Forthcoming, März 2020) European Social Science History Conference (Leiden, The Netherlands)
  • (AS PANEL ORGANISER: "Religion and social change in the twentieth century"): "Christian intellectuals in Britain and the challenge of technology from the 1930s to the 1950s"

  • Johannes Gutenberg University (Mainz), inaugural lecture (Antrittsvorlesung)
  • "Der Killer mit dem blauen Auge: Ein deutscher Polizistenmörder in London und die britische Justiz der 1950er Jahre" (7 November 2018)

  • Johannes Gutenberg University (Mainz), Habilitationskolloquium
  • "Rasse und Differenzkonzepte im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert" (4 July 2018)

  • University of Siegen, Symposium: Counter/Narratives of Punishment and Criminal Justice
  • "Sympathies and Scandals: (Counter-) Narratives of Criminality and Policing in Inter-war Britain" (22 June 2018)

  • European Social Science History Conference (Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK)
  • Invited commentator at a panel session on Imagining European Unity since 1000 AD. (7 April 2018)

  • European Social Science History Conference (Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK)
  • (AS PANEL ORGANISER: "Christian Modernities in Britain and Ireland in the Twentieth Century"): "'Going part of the way together': Christian Intellectuals, Secularity, and the European Crisis, 1937-1949" (Forthcoming, April 2018)

  • Justus Liebig University, International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (Gießen)
  • "'Dies ist eure Stunde': Ein christlicher Intellektuellenkreis in Großbritannien und die europäischen Krisen der 1930er und 1940er Jahre" (28 June 2017)

  • Johannes Gutenberg University, Research Colloquium, Neueste Geschichte (Mainz)
  • "This is Your Hour: Christliche Intellektuelle in Großbritannien und die europäischen Krisen der 1930er und 1940er Jahre" (25 January 2017)

  • German Historical Institute, Research Colloquium (London)
  • "Christliche Intellektuelle in Großbritannien und die europäischen Krisen der 1930er und 1940er Jahre" (27 September 2016)

  • Britain and the World Conference 2016 (London)
  • "'The hopes of Europe have descended upon this island': War, Religion, and the National 'Mission' in a British Christian Intellectual group, 1937-1949" (23-25 June 2016)

  • European Social Science History Conference (Valencia, Spain)
  • (AS PANEL ORGANISER: "Comparative Perspectives on Religion and Secularity in the Twentieth Century"): "Explorations on the 'Frontier': Christian Principles and Secular Knowledge in a British Intellectual Network, 1937-1949" (March-April 2016)

  • Institute of Historical Research Modern Religious History Seminar (London)
  • "'This Is Your Hour': Crisis, Cultural Renewal and a Christian Intellectual Circle in Britain, 1937-1949" (10 February 2016)

  • Leibniz Institute of European History (Mainz, Germany)
  • Workshop: European Christianity and the Challenge of Plurality in the 1960s and 1970s
    "A Prologue to Plurality? Secularity, Pluralism, Freedom and a Christian Intellectual Circle in 1940s Britain" (5 October 2015)

  • Leibniz Institute of European History (Mainz, Germany)
  • Commentary on lecture by Prof. Till van Rahden, "Minority and Majority as Asymmetrical Concepts: The Perils of Democratic Equality and Fantasies of National Purity" (7 July 2015)

  • KADOC (KU Leuven, Belgium)
    Reassessing a Thought System: A Workshop on Twentieth Century Neothomism
    (29-30 June 2015)
    Invited discussant

  • KADOC Seminar Series (Leuven, Belgium)
  • "'So the darkness shall be the light': A Christian Intellectual Network in Britain and the European Crises of the 1930s and 1940s" (23 April 2015)

  • University of Oslo: Department of Sociology and Criminology of Law
  • "Crime and Media, ca. 1790-1950" (19 March 2015)

  • The British Press in the Second World War: A Symposium (London, UK)
  • Invited commentator (8 July 2014)

  • European Social Science History Conference (Vienna, Austria)
  • (Panel organiser: "Christianity and National Identity in Twentieth-Century Europe"): "'The rock of human sanity stands in the sea where it always stood': Britishness, Christianity and the Experience of Defeat, 1939-1941" (24 April 2014)

  • European Social Science History Conference (Vienna, Austria)
  • Session discussant: "Crossing the Line: European Police Culture across Ranks" (23 April 2014)

  • Film series (Leibniz Institute of European History) : Propaganda, Pazifismus, Kosmopolitismus: Die Welten des Ersten Weltkriegs im Film
  • Introductory talk on Charlie Chaplin's Shoulder Arms/Gewehr Über (30 October 2013).

  • Forschungskolloquium Neuere/Neueste Geschichte (Lehrstuhl für Neuere und Neueste Geschichte, Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen, Germany)
  • "'This is your hour, and the power of darkness': Christliche Intellektuelle in Großbritannien und die Krisen der 1930er und 1940er Jahre" (18 June 2013)

  • Our Criminal Past: Caring for the Future -- First Network Seminar (London, UK)
  • Session commentator, "Historians of Crime and Social Media" (17 May 2013)

  • Forest of Dean Local History Society (Bream, Gloucestershire, UK)
  • "The Trials of Beatrice Pace" (9 March 2013)

  • British Crime Historians Symposium (The Open University, Milton Keynes, England)
  • "'Unimaginable Agonies and Degradations and Cruelties': Criminal Justice and the 'Martyrdom' of Beatrice Pace, 1928" (6-7 September 2012)

  • International Association for Media and History Conference: Perception, Reception: The History of the Media in Society (Aberystwyth, Wales)
  • "Christian Intellectuals and the Mass Media in 1930s and 1940s Britain" (4-6 July 2012)

  • Zwischen Verehrung und Verachtung? Der Transfer der Kulturmorphologie Oswald Spenglers ins Europa der Zwischenkriegszeit (1919-1939) (Leibniz Institut of European History, Mainz)
  • "'German Foolishness' and the 'Prophet of Doom': Oswald Spengler and the Inter-war British Press" (20-21 June 2012)

  • European Social Science History Conference (Glasgow, Scotland)
  • (Panel organiser: "Crime Stories: Justice, Criminality, Policing and the Inter-War Press"): "The Constables and the 'Garage Girl': The Inter-war Press, the Metropolitan Police and the Case of Helene Adele" (11-14 April 2012)

  • Religion und Kapitalismus/Religion and Capitalism (Società, Forum für Ethik, Kunst und Recht, Vienna, Austria)
  • "Zwischen Mammon und Marx: Christliche Kapitalismuskritik in Großbritannien 1930-39" ("Between Mammon and Marx: Christian Critiques of Capitalism in Britain 1930-39") (17-19 November 2011)

  • West-Östlicher Ideentransfer. Ordnungsentwürfe transnationaler Querdenker für Europa in der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts (Institut für Europäische Geschichte, Mainz, Germany) "'Planning for Freedom': Karl Mannheim, Joseph Oldham und 'The Moot'" (16 November 2011)

  • Making Sense of Violence? Interdisciplinary Approaches to Violence Past and Present (University of Bern, Switzerland)
  • "A part of us or apart from us? The cultural, social and psychological sense of violence" (8-10 September 2011)

  • Forschungskolloquiuim, Institut für Europäische Geschichte (Mainz, Germany)
  • "Kriminalitätsgeschichte als Kulturgeschichte" (12 April 2011)

  • Crime and Punishment in Modern Europe, 1870-1990 (German Historical Institute, Washington DC, USA)
  • "'Heroic Doses of Being Left Alone': Criminal Justice, the Press and Civil Liberties in Inter-war Britain" (10-12 March 2011)

  • Social Science History Association Conference (Chicago, USA)
  • Participation in a roundtable discussion of American Homicide by Randolph Roth (20 November 2010)

  • Social Science History Association Conference (Chicago, USA)
  • "Police Powers and Parliamentary Politics in Late 1920s Britain" (18 November 2010)

  • Drink in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries: Consumers, Cross-Currents, Conviviality (University of Bonn, Germany)
  • "Alcohol and Violence in Nineteenth-Century England" (5-7 November 2010)

  • XXI.Polizeihistorische Kolloquium (University of Cologne, Germany)
  • "Police Powers and their Limits in 1920s Britain" (15-17 July 2010)

  • Ethnicity, Crime and Justice; Contemporary and Historical Perspectives (The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK)
  • "Prejudice and Practice. The Experience of Black Offenders and Victims in the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries" (June 2010)

  • European Social Science History Conference (Ghent, Belgium)
  • "A Change of Perspective: Integrating Evolutionary Psychology Into the Historiography of Violence" (13-16 April 2010)

  • Policing, Media and Civil Liberties in Inter-war Britain (The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK)
  • "The 'Third Degree': The Cultural History of an American Phrase in Britain, 1900-1939" (26 February 2010)

  • Reading British Spaces (University of Paderborn, Germany)
  • "Reading Spaces and Reading Violence in Nineteenth-Century Britain" (19-21 November 2009)

  • Social Fears and Moral Panics (University of Aberystwyth, Wales)
  • "The Press, the 'Third Degree' and Police Powers in Late-1920s Britain" (8-11 July 2009)

  • Violence in Public Places and Institutions (University of Central Lancashire, UK)
  • "And Never the Twain Shall Meet?: Evolutionary psychology meets the history of violence" (25-27 June 2009)

  • Justice and Public Space(s) in the Western World, from Antiquity to the Present (Montreal, Canada: Centre interuniversitaire d'études québécoises (CIEQ) and the Centre d'histoire des régulations sociales (CHRS))
  • "Police Powers and Public Opinion in Late-1920s Britain" (5-7 May 2009)

  • Women and Crime in Britain and North America since 1500 (University Lyon 2 and University Lyon 3, France)
  • "Police Powers and the Celebrity Female Victim in Mid-Interwar Britain" (11-13 September 2008)

  • Symposium on New Directions in the History of Crime (Leeds Metropolitan University, UK)
  • "Cultural and Biological Approaches to the History of Violence: An End to Splendid Isolation?" (4-5 September 2008)

  • "From Shanghai to Shepperton": An International Conference on J. G. Ballard (University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK)
  • "'Going mad is their only way of staying sane': The Civilised Violence of J. G. Ballard" (5 May 2007)

  • Crime, Violence and the Modern State Conference (University of Rethymnon, Crete, Greece)
  • "Violence and Victimisation in Interwar Britain: The 'Martyrdom' of Mrs. Pace" (10 March 2007)

  • Policing and Violence Between and After Wars seminar (The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK)
  • "A Study in Interwar Victimisation: Police, Press, Public and the 'Tragic Widow of Coleford'" (16 February 2007)

  • ' Assaulting the Past' - Placing Violence in Historical Context Conference (Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK)
  • "Locating Violence: Space and the Construction of Physical Aggression" (7 July 2005)

  • Fourth York Cultural History Conference (York, UK)
  • "Conceptualising Cultures of Violence and Cultural Change" (April 2005)

  • Workshop Gender- und Frauenforschung (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany)
  • "What a Man's Got To Do: Historical Perspectives on Violence, Culture and Masculinity" (22 January 2005)

  • Second Transdisciplinary Forum Magdeburg, 'Diskurse der Gewalt - Gewalt der Diskurse' (Otto-von-Guericke-Universität, Magdeburg, Germany)
  • "The Process of Civilization (and its Discontents): Violence, Discourse and History" (July 2004)

  • British Society of Criminology (BSC) Conference (Keele, UK)
  • "The Civilising Bargain: Mentality, Protection and Delegated Violence in Britain" (17 July 2002)

  • Comparative Histories of Crime Conference, in association with the British Academy (Keele, UK)
  • "It's a Small World After All?: Reflections on Violence in Cross-national Perspectives" (16 July 2002)

  • International Conference on the History of Violence (Liverpool, UK)
  • "'Speakable' Violence: Narrative, Mentality and Violence in Nineteenth-Century England" (5 July 2001)

  • Victorian Studies Reading Group (Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA)
  • "A Useful Savagery: Violence, Civilization and Middle-Class Identity" (28 September 2000)

  • History Workshop Seminar (London, UK)
  • "Custom, Law, and Violence in Nineteenth-Century England" (10 January 2000)

  • Royal Geographic Society-Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG) (Brighton, UK)
  • "'The Wrongdoing of the Poor Man is as Open as Day': Violence and Working-Class Social Space in Nineteenth-Century England" (6.1.2000)

  • Group for Early-Modern Cultural Studies (GEMCS) (Coral Gables, FL, USA)
  • "'The Brave Old English Custom': Dispute, Sport and Ritual Fighting Among Working-Class Men in Nineteenth-Century England" (9 October 1999)




  • This is Your Hour: Christian Intellectuals in Britain and the Crisis of Europe, 1937-1949 (Forthcoming, 2019)

  • The Most Remarkable Woman in England: Poison, Celebrity and the Trials of Beatrice Pace (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2012).

  • Violence and Crime in Nineteenth-Century England: The Shadow of Our Refinement (Routledge, 2004). (Preview via Google Books.)


  • Christianity and National Identity in Twentieth-Century Europe: Conflict, Community and the Social Order (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2016) (See details here.)

  • (with Paul Knepper) Special issue of Media History: "Crime Stories: Criminality, Policing and the Press in Inter-war European and Transatlantic Perspectives" Vol. 20, no. 4 (November 2014). (See details here.)

From reviews of The Most Remarkable Woman in England (2012):

(See a full list of reviews at the book's blog)

    'A fascinating analysis of one woman's domestic disaster, the power of the press and public opinion. Loved it!' -- Jenni Murray, host of BBC Radio 4's "Woman's Hour" (You can listen to my Woman's Hour interview here.)

    A 'splendid piece of historical detective work...immaculately researched, fluently written and utterly compelling'. -- Dominic Sandbrook, Literary Review (Dec 2012-Jan 2013)

    'Sometimes life is better than fiction. Is there any novelist who could have got this extraordinary story so perfectly right, inventing it: the violence at the heart of it, the suspense, the succession of revelations, the passions so raw and inchoate that they have a mythic force? And then there's the grand sweep of the narrative, beginning in the bleak poverty of an obscure cottage in the Forest of Dean, acted out finally on the national stage. [...] John Carter Wood's book about the Pace trial works because of his sober and scrupulous assembly of the evidence, quoting the words that were spoken and written at the time so we can feel the textures of the material for ourselves -- the found poetry of precise reportage.' -- Tessa Hadley, in The Guardian (26 October 2012)

    'A fascinating real-life murder story.' -- Steven Pinker, on Twitter (3 October 2012).

    'Just for once, my crime book of the year isn't a novel, but a factual account. In 1928, a quarryman called Harry Pace died of arsenic poisoning and his wife, Beatrice, was tried for his murder. John Carter Wood's account of the case and trial has it all: suspense; surprise; and a searing account of one woman's life, marriage, and journey from poverty and obscurity to celebrity and notoriety. Wood is brave enough to allow much of an incredible story to tell itself through newspaper accounts, letters and Beatrice's private papers, and the book is all the richer for it. And because it's a true story, he has no choice but to include some of the more incredible plot elements that a novelist might lose courage with! A fascinating snapshot of interwar England, brilliantly brought to life.' -- Nicolas Upson, Faber website

    'This book will be an invaluable aid to those interested in the history of criminal justice and British society in the 1920s.' -- June Purvis, in the Times Higher Education (22 November 2012)

    'John Carter Wood writes with verve and elegance, weaving insights into the broader social ramifications of this trial without losing the thread courtroom drama that makes the book such a compelling read. He has also done much original research, clearing up questions that previous accounts left unanswered and providing dozens of illustrations, some of which have come from previously-inaccessible private archives. The result is a vivid portrayal not just of one woman's fate, but of a society in transition. Highly recommended!' -- Andrew Hammel, Amazon.co.uk review

    'This is history as murder-mystery. John Carter Wood tells a spellbinding story of murder, using the trials of the accused (Beatrice Pace) to reflect the nature of celebrity culture, the legal system, and gender relations in 1920s Britain. The fundamental question remains: did Beatrice Pace kill her husband? You will have to read the book to find out!' -- Joanna Bourke, Professor of History, Birkbeck College

    'The trial of Beatrice Pace was one of the most sensational news stories in inter-war Britain. In this thoroughly researched and clearly-argued study, John Carter Wood is not solely concerned with the usual question of whether or not Mrs Pace was guilty. Rather he also focuses on the period's celebrity culture, the role of the press, the development of public interest and the police. In so doing, he has produced a model for modern social and cultural historians.' -- Clive Emsley, Professor Emeritus, Open University

From reviews of Violence and Crime in Nineteenth-Century England (2004):

    '[This book] provides the closest and most careful analysis yet done of just what violence meant in the everyday life of ordinary Englishmen for much of the nineteenth century. Wood has added a new dimension to our understanding of the history of violence and of the textures and processes of nineteenth-century English society.' --Martin Wiener, Rice University, Journal of Social History

    'The popular success of Sarah Wise's The Italian Boy: Murder and Grave-Robbery in 1830s (London, 2004) demonstrates that there is considerable interest in the more nefarious aspects of nineteenth-century English life. J. Carter Wood's book demonstrates that there are also social and cultural historians who are not afraid to contextualize and probe the stated understandings of that era. The period 1820-70, although much researched and enriched with primary sources, is a difficult and ambiguous period on which to write well. Wood writes well and he does us all a service when he reminds us that as far as the narrative on the history of violence is concerned, the past has only just happened.' --Jack Anderson, Queens University Belfast, British Journal of Criminology

    'In particular, Wood makes fascinating use of trial depositions to reconstruct the elaborate rituals surrounding early nineteenth-century plebeian street fights. In doing so, he brilliantly demonstrates how the conduct of such fights often closely mirrored the rituals of prize-fighting.' --Jon Lawrence, University of Cambridge, Journal of Victorian Culture

    'Some historians of the eighteenth century and earlier may dispute the contention that violence as a social issue was an invention of the early nineteenth century. In the same vein, it might be argued that the impact of civilization has been overdrawn. Aside from this, Violence and Crime in Nineteenth-century England successfully crystallizes something essential about the nineteenth century. The complexity of the hypothesis and analysis will make this a difficult read for most undergraduates. However, this sophisticated, scholarly and impressive book will no doubt become indispensable reading for all interested in social order and disorder.' --Alyson Brown, Edge Hill University, Social History

    'This book is the product of an impressive and energetic intelligence.' --Simon Devereaux, University of Victoria, Law and History Review

    'Violence and Crime in Nineteenth-Century England is theoretically informed by the ideas of Elias and Foucault and empirically grounded in first-hand accounts of violent acts. This combination of strengths makes it a useful addition to the growing body of work that attempts to explain long-term trends in violence.' --Ian O'Donnell, University College Dublin, Figurations

Articles, Chapters, Essays

  • "The Press and the Criminal Trial: Britain in the 1920s", in Criminal Justice in Modern Europe, 1870– 1970, ed. Richard Wetzell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming, 2018).

  • "Crime, Media and Modernity in the Twentieth Century", in A Global History of Crime and Punishment in the Modern Age, ed. Paul Lawrence (London: Bloomsbury, in progress, 2018)

  • "When Personalism Met Planning: Jacques Maritain and a British Christian Intellectual Circle, 1937– 1949", in What's So New about Scholasticism? How Neo-Thomism Helped Shape the Twentieth Century, ed. Rajesh Heynickx and Stéphane Symons (Leiden: Brill, forthcoming, 2018). (Chapter draft)

  • "Future Research Agendas on Violent Crime: The Challenges to History from Evolutionary Psychology", in special issue on future agendas in crime history: Crime, Histoire & Sociétés/Crime, History and Societies (forthcoming, 2017). (Draft)

  • "Blessed is the Nation? Christianity and National Identity in Twentieth-Century Europe", in Christianity and National Identity in Twentieth-Century Europe: Conflict, Community, and the Social Order, ed. John Carter Wood (Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 2016), 11-31. (Chapter)

  • "'The rock of human sanity stands in the sea where it always stood': Britishness, Christianity, and the Experience of (Near) Defeat, 1937–1941", in Christianity and National Identity in Twentieth-Century Europe: Conflict, Community, and the Social Order, ed. John Carter Wood (Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht, 2016), 131-148. (Chapter)

  • "'A fundamental re-orientation of outlook': Religiöse Intellektuelle und das Ziel einer 'christlichen Gesellschaft' in Großbritannien, 1937-1949", in Kulturelle Souveränität -- Politische Deutungs- und Handlungsmacht jenseits des Staates im 20. Jahrhundert, ed. Johannes Paulmann, Gregor Feindt, and Bernhard Gißibl (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2016), 165-194. (Chapter)

  • "Crime News and the Press," in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Crime and Criminal Justice, ed. Paul Knepper and Anja Johansen (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 301-319. (Chapter)

  • (with Peter King) "Black People and the Criminal Justice System: Prejudice and Practice in Later Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century London", Historical Research 88 (2015): 100-124. (Article)

  • (with Paul Knepper), "Crime Stories: Criminality, Policing and the Press in Inter-war European and Transatlantic Perspectives," Media History 20.4 (2014): 345-351. (Article; draft)

  • "The Constables and the Garage Girl: The Police, the Press, and the Case of Helene Adele," Media History 20.4 (2014): 384-399. (Article)

  • "Zwischen Mammon und Marx: Christliche Kapitalismuskritik in Großbritannien 1930-1939," in Religion und Kapitalismus, ed. Robert König (Kaltenleutgeben: Ferstl & Perz, 2014), 147-176. (Book info)

  • "Drinking, Fighting and Working-Class Sociability in Nineteenth-Century Britain," in Drink in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries: Perspectives in Economic and Social History, ed. Susanne Schmid and Barbara Schmidt-Haberkamp (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2014), 71-80. (Book info; draft)

  • "Public Opinion and the Rhetoric of Police Powers in 1920s Britain," in Justice et Espaces Publics en Occident du Moyen Âge à Nos Jours: Pouvoirs, Publicité et Citoyenneté, ed. Pascal Bastien, Donald Fyson, Jean-Philippe Garneau and Thierry Nootens (Quebec: Presses de l'Université de Québec, 2014), 327-337. (Book info; essay draft)

  • "'German Foolishness' and the 'Prophet of Doom': Oswald Spengler and the Inter-war British Press," in Oswald Spengler als europäisches Phänomen. Der Transfer der Kultur- und Geschichtsmorphologie im Europa der Zwischenkriegszeit (1919-1939), ed Zaur Gasimov and Carl Antonius Lemke Duque (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013), 157-184. (Flyer available here; essay)

  • "Watching the Detectives (and the Constables): Fearing the Police in 1920s Britain," in Moral Panics, Social Fears, and the Media: Historical Perspectives, ed. Sian Nicholas and Tom O'Malley (Abingdon: Routledge, 2013), 147-161. (Book info; essay draft)

  • "Press, Politics and the 'Police and Public' Debates in Late 1920s Britain," Crime, Histoire & Sociétés 16.1 (2012): 75-98. (Essay draft)

  • "'Going mad is their only way of staying sane': Norbert Elias and the Civilised Violence of J.G. Ballard," in J. G. Ballard: Visions and Revisions, ed. Jeannette Baxter and Rowland Wymer (London: Palgrave, 2011), 198-214. (Essay draft)

  • "A Change of Perspective: Integrating Evolutionary Psychology into the Historiography of Violence," British Journal of Criminology 51 (2011): 479-498. (Article here; draft).

  • "Reading Spaces and Reading Violence in Nineteenth-Century Britain," Journal for the Study of British Cultures 17.2 (2010): 133-143. (Article)

  • "'The Third Degree': Press Reporting, Crime Fiction and Police Powers in 1920s Britain," Twentieth Century British History 21.4 (2010): 464-485. (Available here.)

  • (with Anja Müller-Wood) "How Is Culture Biological? Violence: Real and Imagined," Politics and Culture (2010, Issue 1, Bioculture: Evolutionary Cultural Studies).

  • "'Those Who Have Had Trouble Can Sympathise with You': Press Writing, Reader Responses and a Murder Trial in Interwar Britain," Journal of Social History 43.2 (2009): 439-462. (Article here; draft)

  • "'Mrs. Pace' and the Ambiguous Language of Victimisation," in (Re)Interpretations: The Shapes of Justice in Women's Experience, ed. Lisa Dresdner and Laurel Peterson (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009), 79-93. (Chapter)

  • "Recent work on Elias and Violence: History, Evolutionary Psychology and Literature," Figurations 28, (December 2007): 6-8.

  • (with Anja Müller-Wood) "Bringing the Past to Heel: History, Identity and Violence in Ian McEwan's Black Dogs," Literature and History 16.2 (2007): 43-56. (Article here and here)

  • "Evolution, Civilization and History: A Response to Wiener and Rosenwein," Cultural and Social History 4.4 (2007): 559-565. (Available here; )

  • "The Limits of Culture? Society, Evolutionary Psychology and the History of Violence," Cultural and Social History 4.1 2007: 95-114. (Available here and here)

  • "Locating Violence: The Spatial Production and Construction of Physical Aggression," in Assaulting the Past: Violence and Civilization in Historical Context, ed. Katherine D. Watson (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007): 20-37. (Chapter)

  • "Conceptualising Cultures of Violence and Cultural Change," in Cultures of Violence: Interpersonal Violence in Historical Perspective, ed. Stuart Carroll (London: Macmillan, 2007): 79-96. (Draft)

  • "Criminal Violence in Modern Britain," History Compass 4.1 (2006): 77-90.

  • "The Process of Civilization (and its Discontents): Violence, Narrative and History", in Discourses of Violence - Violence of Discourses: Critical Interventions, Transgressive Readings and Post-National Negotiations ed. Dirk Wiemann, Agata Stopinska, Anke Bartels, Johannes Angermüller (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2005): 117-128.

  • "A Useful Savagery: The Invention of Violence in Nineteenth-Century England," The Journal of Victorian Culture 9.1 (2004): 22-42. (Article here and here.)

  • "It's a Small World After All?: Reflections on Violence in Comparative Perspectives," in Comparative Histories of Crime, edited by Barry Godfrey, Clive Emsley and Graeme Dunstall (Willan, 2003): 36-52.

  • "Self-Policing and the Policing of the Self: Violence, Protection and the Civilising Bargain in Britain," Crime, Histoire & Sociétés/Crime, History and Societies 7.1 (2003): 109-128.


  • Review of Drew D. Gray, Crime, Policing and Punishment in England, 1660-1900 in Journal of British Studies 56.2 (2017): 426-428.

  • Review of Louise Jackson with Angela Bartie, Policing Youth: Britain 1945-1970 in Economic History Review 68.3 (2015): 1081-1082.

  • Review of Pieter Spierenburg, Violence and Punishment. Civilizing the Body through Time in Crime, Histoire & Sociétés/Crime, History and Societies 18.2 (2014): 158-161.

  • Review of Rosalind Crone, Violent Victorians: Popular Entertainment in Nineteenth-Century London in Journal of Social History 48.1 (2014): 205-207.

  • Review of Judith Rowbotham, Marianna Muravyeva and David Nash, eds, Shame, Blame and Culpability: Crime and Violence in the Modern State in Law, Crime and History 3.2 (2013): 183-186.

  • Review of Haia Shpayer-Makov, The Ascent of the Detective: Police Sleuths in Victorian and Edwardian England in Reviews in History (2013).

  • Review of Monica Flegel, Conceptualizing Cruelty to Children in Nineteenth-Century England in Nineteenth-Century Prose 40.2 (2013): 258-261.

  • Review of Joanne Klein, Invisible Men: The Secret Lives of Police Constables in Liverpool, Manchester, and Birmingham, 1900-1939 in the Journal of British Studies 50.4 (2011): 1016-1017 .

  • Review of David Taylor, Hooligans, Harlots, and Hangmen: Crime and Punishment in Victorian Britain in the Journal of Social History 45.1 (2011): 310-312.

  • Review of Lisa Rosner, The Anatomy Murders in the Journal of British Studies 49.4 (2010): 919-921.

  • Review of Shani D'Cruze and Louise Jackson, Women, Crime and Justice in England since 1660 in the Economic History Review 63.3 (2010): 814-815.

  • Reviewof Pieter Spierenburg, A History of Murder: Personal Violence in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Present in the Journal of Social History 44.1 (2010): 288-290.

  • Review essay on Anne-Marie Kilday, Women and Violent Crime in Enlightenment Scotland and Gregory Durston, Victims and Viragos: Metropolitan Women, Crime and the Eighteenth-Century Justice System in the Journal of Social History 43.4 (2010): 1086-1090.

  • Review of Richard Mc Mahon, ed., Crime, Law and Popular Culture in Europe, 1500-1900 in the Economic History Review 62.2 (2009): 496-497.

  • Review of Gregory Hanlon, Human Nature in Rural Tuscany: An Early Modern History in Cultural and Social History 6.1 (2009): 122-124.

  • Review of Dan Vyleta, Crime, Jews and News, Vienna 1895-1914 in Cultural and Social History 5.2 (2008): 253-255.

  • Review of Stephen Kern, A Cultural History of Causality: Science, Murder Novels and Systems of Thought in Cultural and Social History 4.4 (2007): 588-589.

  • Review of Clive Emsley, Hard Men: Violence in England since 1750 in the Journal of Social History 40.3 (2007): 766-768.

  • Review of Jennine Hurl-Eamon, Gender and Petty Violence in London, 1680-1720 in the Journal of Social History 40.2 (2006): 508-510.

  • Review of Martin Wiener, Men of Blood: Violence, Manliness and Criminal Justice in Victorian England in the Journal of Social History, 39.1 (2005): 266-268.

  • Review of Jeannie Duckworth, Fagin's Children in Albion 36.2 (2004): 309-311.

  • Review essay on Haia Shpayer-Makov, The Making of a Policeman: A Social History of a Labour Force in Metropolitan London, 1829-1914 and David Taylor, Policing the Victorian Town: The Development of the Police in Middlesbrough, c. 1840-1914 in the Journal of Victorian Culture 9.1 (2004): 128-133.

  • Review of Louis A. Knafla, ed., Policing and War in Europe in Albion 35.3 (2003): 511-513.

  • Review of Thomas W. Gallant, Experiencing Dominion: Culture, Identity and Power in the British Mediterranean in the Journal of Social History 37.1 (2003): 242-244.

  • Review of Shani D'Cruze, ed., Everyday Violence in Britain 1850-1950: Gender and Class in the Journal of Social History 36.3 (Spring 2003): 813-815.

  • Review of Julius R. Ruff, Violence in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1800 in the Journal of Social History 36.2 (2002): 479-481.