Race, Crime, and Justice in Britain and its Empire, 1750-1999 – CALL FOR PAPERS

Date / time: 30 November, 12:00 am

Race, Crime, and Justice in Britain and its Empire, 1750-1999 - CALL FOR PAPERS


Workshop | 20-22 May 2024 | University of Liverpool

‘Race, Crime, and Justice in Britain and its Empire, 1750-1999′

Call for Papers, deadline – 30 November 2023

The role of the British criminal justice system in producing, maintaining, and reinforcing racial categorisation and hierarchies in Britain is receiving renewed scholarly, and cultural, attention. Following recent developments, from the police shooting of Chris Kaba to the announcement from the chief constable of Police Scotland that his force is institutionally racist, there is a pressing need to re-examine how justice across the British Isles is meted out along racial lines. These issues have deep historical roots; prejudice towards black people in colonial contexts and ethnic groups like Irish convicts led to contrasting treatment in courtrooms and prisons, the legacies of which continue today. This workshop seeks to bring renewed scholarly attention to the historical processes that underpin the ways in which the British criminal justice system has become such a driving force in shaping the politics of race in Britain.

We invite proposals for papers for a 2-day workshop, ‘Race, Crime, and Justice in Britain and its Empire, 1750-1999′ held at the University of Liverpool. The workshop aims to bring together scholars from History, as well as Criminology, Law, Sociology, and other related disciplines to present papers that will collectively explore the ways that race, crime, and justice have interacted over time. Key to this project is its long-durée and interdisciplinary approach; the repercussions of Britain’s empire on criminal justice institutions have been long-lasting; our workshop will encompass a period of empire up to the publication of the Macpherson Report in 1999, and will incorporate local, national, and global perspectives.

To ensure the findings and discussions produced from this workshop have the widest reach and impact possible, participants will be invited to contribute articles to be disseminated in a special issue journal submission to Race and Class or The British Journal of Criminology, as well as a short article for History and Policy.


Held over two days at the University of Liverpool, this in-person workshop will provide participants with the opportunity to meet scholars across disciplines and build their networks.

  • Monday 20 May: On Day 1, contributors will present a 15-minute research paper, and will be expected to read and act as respondent to one other paper, leading group discussion. The workshop will end with a roundtable discussion.
  • Tuesday 22 May: On Day 2, we will hold a writing group for participants to develop their paper into a journal submission, with breaks for group discussion.

An evening meal will follow Day 1’s workshop, and 1 nights’ accommodation will be provided to participants who wish to participate in the writing session on Day 2. The event has been funded by the University of Liverpool, and no registration fees are required.


Individual paper proposals should consist of an abstract (200-250 words), a brief biography (up to 100 words) and full contact information. We especially invite abstracts from early-career researchers and PhD students.

Proposals and questions should be directed to the Program Committee: Dr Jessica White, Dr Emily Ireland, Dr Anna McKay at racecrimeandjustice@gmail.com. Successful applicants will be notified at the beginning of December.

Deadline: 30 November 2023