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Gender and Crime in Historical Perspective

Call for Papers / Annual Colloquium of the IAHCCJ, 2003
p. 147-148

This colloquium will explore the current state of research on the historical relationship of gender and crime. Until the 1980s, most historians analyzed crime without reference to gender or focused solely on male behavior. Since the 1980s, however, there has been an increased focus on domestic violence, and female law breaking has itself become the focus of a significant number of historical studies. Only recently have historians realized that male crime is also «gendered» and deserves analysis within the new wave of studies on «masculinity». This colloquium invites proposals from historians of both female and male crime who contextualize their sources within past discourses that have constructed gender as a biological, psychological, cultural, social, or political reality. Papers may treat any historical period or geographical area. Gender has shaped both the social reality of crime and its cultural representation. Papers are invited on a variety of topics including how notions of «femininity» and «masculinity» have shaped the self‑fashion­ing of criminals, the definition of «female» and «male» crimes in legal codes, the gendered policies of police and courts, and differing methods of punishment for women and men. Both written and visual sources provide highly gendered images of criminals in both high culture (law, criminology) and popular culture (news­papers, novels, cinema and television). Contributions are also welcome on representations of other actors in the criminal justice process, such as the legal authorities, who were most often men, and victims, who were of both sexes. As usual the conference will be bilingual (English‑French), though we expect that the principal language will be English.

The colloquium will be held at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in Paris on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 June 2003. The numbers have, unfortunately, to be strictly limited given the time and finance available. Participants will be expected to find their own fares to Paris, but their accomodation (maximum 3 nights – 5, 6 and 7 June) and meals will be provided for the duration of the colloquium.

Abstracts/outlines of proposed papers (no more than 300 words) should be sent to Mary Gibson ( and Clive Emsley ( no later than Friday 15 November 2002. The abstract should also give the proposer’s affiliation and position.

The final decision of the organising committee will be made by the beginning of January 2003. Papers must be sent to Clive Emsley for circulation by Friday 23 April 2003. It is expected that each contributor to the colloquium will restrict their comments to 20 minutes drawing attention to the key arguments of their paper, so as to permit maximum time for discussion and comment.

It is hoped that at least some of the papers for the colloquium will form the substance for an edited volume, though, in the current state of academic publishing, this may not prove possible. But, should the publishing venture fail, all participants are encouraged to submit their papers as submissions to the Association’s journal Crime, histoire & sociétés/Crime history & societies.

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