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Professor Heather Shore


Professor Heather Shore
Contact Details
Professor Heather Shore

Professor

School of Cultural Studies & Humanities

0113 81 23361 H.Shore@leedsbeckett.ac.uk

About Professor Heather Shore

Heather Shore has published widely in the field of crime and penal history. Her research encompasses the history of youth offending, the historical evolution of the idea of the criminal underworld, and British organised crime in the interwar period of the twentieth century. Heather is co-convenor of History UK (HUK), co-chair for the Criminal Justice Strand of the European Social Science History Conference (ESHHC), and a founding member of the British Crime Historians (BCH).

Heather's newest co-authored monograph will be published by Oxford University Press in 2018. Young Criminal Lives: Life Courses from 1850, is co-authored with Barry Godfrey, Pamela Cox and Zoe Alker, and is based on the historical life courses of delinquent youths who spent time in reformatories and industrial schools in the north-west of England during the Victorian and Edwardian period.

Heather is the author of two previous monographs. London's Criminal Underworlds, c. 1720 - c. 1930: A Social and Cultural History (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).This major research monograph explores changing ideas about the criminal underworld from the early eighteenth until the early twentieth century. It builds on the research she has previously done into individual criminals and organised crime gangs, providing a framework to explore contemporary understandings of habitual and serious criminality.

Her first book, Artful Dodgers: Youth and Crime in Early Nineteenth Century London (Boydell, 1999) focussed on juvenile crime in the early nineteenth-century metropolis. The book has been very favourable reviewed and remains a key text for students studying the historical development of juvenile justice in Britain. She has also co-edited two collections of essays and published in major history journals such as Social History and Twentieth Century British History.

Current Teaching

  • Conmen and Cutpurses: Criminal Lives in the Old Bailey, c. 1672 – c. 1834 (History, Yr 3)
  • Watching the Detectives: Representations of Crime and Policing, c. 1850 to c. 1930 (English and History, Yr 2)
  • Underworlds: Representations of Crime, Police and Criminals, c. 1700 – c. 1945 (MA Social History)

Research Interests

Heather is currently working on two projects. The first is the AHRC funded project, Our Criminal Ancestors, with Dr. Helen Johnston at the University of Hull, and working with the Hull History Centre. This follow-on project has evolved from the Our Criminal Past: Caring for the Future project, which was funded by the AHRC between 2013 and 2014.

Heather is also working on a BA/Leverhulme funded pilot study on the history of Borstal, institutions for young adult prisoners which were established at the start of the twentieth century. The pilot project is the starting point for the first full first study of the borstal system and its young inmates.

Titled Borstal Lives: Young People, Crime and Institutionalisation in Twentieth-Century England and Wales, the research has three main objectives:

  1. To assess the scope and availability of records and investigate the feasibility of an extended research project on the history of Borstal institutions and the Borstal Training Programme.
  2. Considering the extent to which the system was influenced by the earlier success of the reformatory school establishment of whether it developed in more distinct ways and the extent to which Borstal can be defined as a reformatory or punitive institution.
  3. To contribute to historical and current policy debates, by disseminating the research in academic, public and policy forums.

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