Several members of the Centre for Criminology attended and contributed to this year’s British Society of Criminology (BSC) conference held at Plymouth University on 1-3 July 2015.Professor Mary Bosworth was a keynote speaker, along with Professor Ben Bowling (Kings College London) and Professor Sharon Pickering (Monash University; also a research associate of the Centre), in the conference’s closing plenary which focused on the criminology of borders. Mary’s presentation, entitled ‘Getting In, Getting Out and Getting Back: The Ethics, Access and Emotions of Studying Border Control,’ highlighted the challenges of conducting research in immigration detention centres in the UK. She noted the possibility of using the discomfort of fieldwork and emotions as an analytical lens through which to make sense of the research data collected in such difficult fieldwork sites. Mary also raised further opportunities for understanding immigration detention from the perspective of material culture, noting her work on creating an immigration detention archive. In the last presentation of the closing plenary, Sharon shared her work on ‘deaths in transit,’ focusing on how criminology engages with the deaths resulting from the illegalisation of migration from the global south to the global north.
Professor Rachel Condry chaired two panel sessions, one entitled ‘Children of Prisoners: International Perspectives,’ and the other ‘Prisoners’ Families: New Perspectives.’ In this second panel, Rachel was joined by DPhil student Anna Kotova who gave a presentation based on her DPhil research on how the partners of long-term prisoners in the UK experienced time. In the introduction to the panel, Rachel spoke about the growing recognition of the study of prisoners’ families within criminology as a discipline, which was evidenced by these two focused, topical panels at the BSC conference.
For the panel ‘Visual Criminology: Theory and Method,’ DPhil student Kate West, postdoctoral research fellow Sarah Turnbull, and 2014-15 academic visitor to the Centre for Criminology Luigi Gariglio [linkme] (University of Milan) spoke about their various research projects related to the visual in criminology. Kate’s presentation explored the work of Cesare Lombroso in connection to art history as a means to understand the historical use of photography in the gendered and racialised production of images in criminology. Next, Luigi discussed the method of photo-elicitation in his research on the use of force among prison officers in Italy, demonstrating how this method can help get at the more difficult questions and issues pertaining to the ‘grey area’ between legitimate force and violence. Sarah’s presentation considered the challenges and opportunities of using photo-voice in follow-up research with individuals released from immigration detention in the UK as a methodological approach to help better understand and document life after detention. Sarah also presented in another panel, ‘Criminological Methodology 1: Field Dilemmas,’ in which she spoke about the ‘research intimacies’ associated with building relationships of trust whilst undertaking ethnographic fieldwork in immigration detention.Two additional Centre for Criminology research associates (who are also Oxford alumni) also participated in this year’s BSC conference as panel chairs and presenters. Ana Aliverti (University of Warwick) chaired a panel focused on the intersections of border control and law in which she presented a paper on the ‘borderscapes’ of the UK’s criminal courts. Ben Goold (University of British Columbia) presented two papers on the topic of covert policing, the first on the ‘working culture’ of officers engaged in targeted surveillance of the public, and the second about the methodological challenges of an ethnographic study of ‘watching the watchers.’
Two recent Oxford Criminology DPhil alumni also participated in the conference. Harry Annison (University of Southampton) chaired a panel and gave a paper related to the privatisation of criminal justice, while Mark Walters (University of Sussex) presented on the indirect effects of hate crime on LGBT and Muslim communities in the UK.
Last but not least, Departmental Lecturer Ben Bradford was awarded the BSC Policing Network prize for a joint-authored article published in 2014 for his co-authored paper with Paul Quinton (College of Policing), ‘Self-legitimacy, Police Culture and Support for Democratic Policing in an English Constabulary,’ published by the British Journal of Criminology. Congratulations to Ben and Paul!