Cultural Representations of Crime and Policing: Scottish and International Perspectives, Past and Present

16th April 2013

This 2-day Conference, organised by the Scottish Institute for Policing Research and the University of Dundee, School of Humanities was the fourth in a series of events funded by a Royal Society of Edinburgh Arts & Humanities Network Award on the theme of Crime and Policing in Scotland: Past and Present. The network is intended to provide a unique forum for researchers to engage with police and criminal justice practitioners, with the aim of sharing and enhancing mutual knowledge and research agendas and providing an opportunity for contemporary Scottish crime and policing issues to be considered from an international historical perspective.

The aim of the conference was to explore the ways in which crime and policing have been understood and portrayed in popular culture from the Enlightenment to the present day. The focus was on both the Scottish experience and the wider international context. Key themes included the extent to which cultural representations of crime and policing - for example print and visual media, both fictional and non-fictional - differ from realities, and how far media portrayals shape popular understandings of crime and policing. Central to these discussions was the question of what causes cultural representations and perceptions of crime and policing to change over the longer term. The event was aimed at a wide range of academic disciplines, criminal justice practitioners, and cultural media, with a view to stimulating interdisciplinary dialogue on the conference themes.

The second day of the Conference concluded with a Public Session, Crime Fiction and Science, in which Professor Sue Black (University of Dundee, Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification, and star of BBC TV's History Cold Case) was in conversation with the crime novelists Stuart MacBride and Linda Stratmann.

DAY ONE - Tuesday 16 April


Panel 1

  Chair: Dr Anja Johansen (University of Dundee)

  Professor Clive Emsley (Open University) Police Portraits: Comparative Images and

  Podcast [30 minutes, 10.5 Mb]

  Dr Chris Murray (University of Dundee) Portrayals of Police in Comics
  Podcast [36 minutes, 12.8 Mb]

  Panel discussion Podcast [36 minutes, 12.8 Mb]

Panel 2

  Chair: Dr Martin Elvins (University of Dundee)

  Dr Robert Smith (Robert Gordon University) Neds, Crime Lords, Businessmen
  Gangsters, and Entrepreneurs: Exploring Cultural (Mis)representations of
  Scottish Criminals in Contemporary Criminal Biographies

  PowerPoint Presentation [374 Kb]
  Podcast [35 minutes, 12.3Mb]

  Dr Martin King (Manchester Metropolitan University) Tangled up in Blue? Women
  Police Officers and the Investigation of Sexual Violence

  PowerPoint Presentation [226 Kb]
  Podcast [30 minutes, 10.5 Mb]

  Panel discussion Podcast [21 minutes, 7.5 Mb]

Panel 3

  Chair: Dr Murray Frame (University of Dundee)

  Professor Pete King (University of Leicester) Exploring and explaining patterns
  of homicide in 19th C Scotland
  PowerPoint Presentation [903 Kb]
  Podcast [31 minutes, 11.1 Mb]

  Rachel Bennett (University of Leicester) 'The Passion to be Reckoned upon is
  Fear': Understanding the Social, Cultural and Legal Power of the Criminal
  Corpse in Mid-Eighteenth Century Scotland

  PowerPoint Presentation [252 Kb]
  Podcast [22 minutes, 7.8 Mb]

  Panel discussion Podcast [29 minutes, 10.2 Mb]


  Chair: Dr Anja Johansen (University of Dundee)

  Professor Bob Shoemaker (University of Sheffield) Celebrating Criminality?
  Print culture and the creation of criminal celebrities in eighteenth-century London

  Podcast [64 minutes, 22.6 Mb]

DAY TWO - Wednesday 17 April


Panel 4

  Chair: Professor Nicholas Fife (SIPR / University of Dundee)

  Professor Ross Deuchar (University of the West of Scotland) Focused Deterrence
  and 'Hard Chargers': Cop Culture in Cincinnati and The Wire

  PowerPoint Presentation [390 Kb]
  Podcast [31 minutes, 11.2 Mb]

  Cllr Martin Greig (Aberdeen City Council) Conceptual Challenges for
  Professionalised Policing in Tackling the Fear of Crime

  Podcast [28 minutes, 9.9 Mb]

  Panel discussion Podcast [35 minutes, 12.6 Mb]

Panel 5

  Chair: Professor Ross Deuchar (University of the West of Scotland)

  Professor Mike Nellis (University of Strathclyde) Cultural Representations of
  Jimmy Boyle and the Barlinnie Special Unit

  PowerPoint Presentation [2.86 Mb]
  Podcast [48 minutes, 16.9 Mb]

  Professor Chris Holligan (University of the West of Scotland) Popular Cultural
  Representations: the Self-Defining Narratives of Violent Young Male Offenders
  - What do Harrowing Life Histories Tell Us?

  PowerPoint Presentation [989 Kb]
  Podcast [27 minutes, 9.7 Mb]

  Panel discussion Podcast [24 minutes, 8.6 Mb]

Panel 6

  Chair: Dr Murray Frame (University of Dundee)

  Aliki Varvogli (University of Dundee) The rise and rise of the forensic novel
  PowerPoint Presentation [408 Kb]
  Podcast [27 minutes, 9.4 Mb]

  Professor Niamh Nic Daeid (University of Strathclyde) 'There's Been a Murder!'
  Fifty Years of Media and Forensic Science

  PDF of slides [2.37 Mb]
  Podcast [36 minutes, 12.6 Mb]

  Heather Horsburgh (University of the West of Scotland) Newspaper coverage
  of the police in Scotland: Comparing National and Local Newspapers in 1991,
  2001 and 2011

  PowerPoint Presentation [1.0 Mb]
  Podcast [21 minutes, 7.4 Mb]

  Panel discussion Podcast [31 minutes, 11.0 Mb]

PUBLIC SESSION - Crime Fiction and Science

  Chair: Eddie Small (University of Dundee)

  Professor Sue Black (University of Dundee) in conversation with the crime
  novelists Stuart MacBride and Linda Stratmann

  Podcast [84 minutes, 29.7 Mb]

This Conference was organised by the Scottish Institute for Policing Research in partnership with the School of Humanities, University of Dundee, and funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh:

University of Dundee

The Royal Society of Edinburgh

Bob Shoemaker (centre) with Anja Johansen and Murray Frame

Sue Black (left) in conversation with Stuart MacBride and Linda Stratmann, Chaired by Eddie Small (right)