Prison Voices: LJMU English Students publish their year’s research online

Prison Voices: LJMU English Students publish their year’s research online

LJMU English's groundbreaking second year module 'Prison Voices: Crime, Conviction and Confession, c.1700-1900' examines the literature of crime and confession in both fictional and non-fictional texts across two centuries. The module's website, produced by its students, explores ways in which historical documents found in digital resources like the Old Bailey Online can be read in dialogue with novels, poems and memoirs. By reading literary and non-literary sources together, students investigate the relationships between social power and cultural authority. The module is led by Helen Rogers, who is currently designing a  new module, 'Digital Victorians: An Introduction to Digital Humanities', that first year English students will take next year. This year, Ben Chance is the first student on the module to publish his research blog. 'Art, Expression and the Condemned' explores the emotional significance of tattoos and love tokens for convicts awaiting deportation in the nineteenth century. You can read Ben's pioneering post here. It's a great example of the skills developed by the module: scholarly research communicated to...
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Did She Kill Him? A Talk With The Author

Did She Kill Him? A Talk With The Author

Kate Colquhoun’s novel Did She Kill Him?On Thursday 5th February esteemed author, lecturer and academic Kate Colquhoun graced Liverpool John Moore’s University with her presence to talk to intrigued students and staff members alike about her historical retelling of a Merseyside story, Did She Kill Him? In brief, Kate explores the interesting case of Florence Maybrick, who in 1889 was arrested and put on trial for the alleged murder of her cotton merchant husband, James Maybrick. Method? (Arsenic) Poison. Motive? Adultery. Florence, a sweet (?), innocent (?) and virtuous (?) Alabama girl is represented in Kate’s novel as being the victim of a malicious judicial system which callously singled out a naïve and fragile widower. Further, Kate suggests that Florence was systematically and categorically alienated, isolated and finally subjugated by a hostile and altogether unwelcoming (British) milieu which failed to adopt her. Further, the entrepreneur’s untimely demise was shrouded in mystery from the offset, captivating the intrigue of the British media,...
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Prison Voices

Prison Voices

Prison Voices: Crime, Conviction and Confession, 1700-1900 is created by second-year undergraduates studying English literature and cultural history at Liverpool John Moores University, UK. In our blogs we examine the literature of crime and punishment in the 18th and 19th centuries, both fictional and non-fictional, and consider how these influenced each other. ...
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English Students Write Blog Posts for Journal of Victorian Culture Online

English Students Write Blog Posts for Journal of Victorian Culture Online

Six Level 5 English students have written a series of blog posts about crime and punishment in Victorian Liverpool for the Journal of Victorian Culture Online, the blog for the respected Journal of Victorian Culture. As part of the second year English module, Prison Voices: Crime, Conviction and Confession 1700-1900, students took to the city’s streets to explore the spaces of Victorian crime and punishment. The module, which is led by Dr Helen Rogers, explores both real and imagined prison voices investigating, for example, Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations (1861) alongside the criminal confessions and historical debates about confinement that Dickens drew upon. Zoë Alker, an LJMU doctoral student whose thesis examines violent street robbery in mid-Victorian Liverpool, was asked to run three sessions related to her research and decided to organise field trips to the places that featured so heavily in her case studies: the nineteenth-century Assize court in St George’s Hall, and the former bridewell on Argyle Street. During these sessions, students...
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