Research School for Economic and Social History


8 June 2022
11:00 - 17:00
International Institute of Social History, Cruquiusweg 31, Amsterdam

Masterclass ‘Crime and Justice in Historical Context: Theory, Methods and Perspectives’ by Prof. Robert Shoemaker

The research group of the project Tolerant Migrant Cities? The Case of Holland 1600-1900 in collaboration with the N.W. Posthumus Institute, in particular the Research Network ‘Inclusion, Exclusion, and Mobility’ are pleased to announce that they will be hosting a masterclass by Professor Robert Shoemaker (The University of Sheffield), on 8 June 2022 11:00 to 17:00 (lunch included) at the International Institute of Social History (IISG) in Amsterdam.

On the next day, 9 June, the related Symposium ‘Voices in the Justice System: Agency of Victims, Plaintiffs, Witnesses and the Accused in Global Perspective’ will also be held at the IISH, follow this link for additional info.

About the Speaker

Professor Robert Shoemaker is a Professor of Eighteenth-Century British History at the University of Sheffield who has published widely on social and cultural history, particularly urban history, gender history and the history of crime, justice and punishment. Together with Professor Tim Hitchcock (University of Sussex) and the late Professor Clive Emsley (1944-2020), he initiated the Old Bailey Proceedings Online. Currently he is part of an interdisciplinary project funded by the ESRC on long-term patterns of victims’ access to justice in England over the course of three centuries.

Focus of the Masterclass

The focus of this masterclass will be a methodological discussion on the use of judicial sources as a lens onto everyday lives. We therefore invite junior researchers working on a variety of topics through the lens of judicial sources to apply. Topics could include, but are not limited to: gender, migration, empire, class, agency, crime and policing. A key aspect of this masterclass will be to understand the differences between English Common Law and other legal systems, since it is the legal framework that shaped the nature of the judicial sources produced in each system.

PhD and Postdoc Participation

The masterclass offers PhD candidates and early-stage post-docs the opportunity to discuss their research with an expert in the field by presenting a paper. The paper can be a chapter section of the PhD, an article in preparation, or the presentation of the whole project, but the focus should be on the methodological aspect of the research and contain at least the following information:

  1. How have your principal sources been shaped by the legal and judicial system in which they were created?
  2. How can you use those sources, despite their limitations, to gain an understanding of the circumstances, point of view and agency of those who were accused of crime?
  3. Explain the theoretical perspectives you are using in your research. Bearing in mind the limitations of your sources, how will you use them to address those theoretical questions?

Participants are expected to briefly present their work (maximum of 5 minutes) and mainly focus on formulating some concrete questions for input and feedback.

How to participate

Please note that the deadline for papers to be presented has passed. There are however a few spots available for non-presenting participants. If you want to attend as non-presenting participant, please contact the organisers. Please also indicate whether you would like to attend just the masterclass, or both the masterclass and the symposium to be held the next day (see below) .

Participants are also welcome to attend the related symposium ‘Voices in the Justice System: Agency of Victims, Plaintiffs, Witnesses and the Accused in Global Perspective’, which will be held at the IISH the very next day, 9 June 2022.

Contact organisers / Apply