Professor Emerita This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

""Research Interests: Social History of Crime and Violence, British and Irish History, Britain and the Third World


  • B.A., Duke University, 1972, Dissertation: “Crime and Justice in Victorian Kent”
  • M.A., University of Chicago, 1976
  • Ph.D., Duke University, 1975, History

Worked at the University of Alabama at Birmingham from 1985-2014.

  • Professor Emerita, April 2015
  • Chairman of the History Department, 2008-2012
  • Director of Graduate Studies, 1988-1989; 1993-2001; 2007

Select Publications


  • The Unwritten Law: Criminal Justice in Victorian Kent (Oxford, 1991)
  • Melancholy Accidents: The Meaning of Violence in Post-Famine Ireland (Lexington Books, 1999)
  • Certain Other Countries: Homicide and National Identity in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, 1867-1892 (Ohio State University Press, 2007)
  • Debauched, Deranged and Desperate: Women Tried for Homicide in London 1674-1913 (forthcoming, Oxford University Press)

Published in:

  • Oxford Handbook on Gender, Sex and Crime
  • Crime, Law and Popular Culture in Europe Since 1500
  • Journal of British Studies
  • New Hibernia Review, Journal of Social History
  • Eire-Ireland
  • Victorian Studies
  • Journal of Interdisciplinary History
  • Canadian Journal of History
  • Journal of Modern History
  • Peace and Change
  • Albion
  • H-Net
  • The Historian
  • American Historical Review
  • Journal of Legal History


  • “Female Killers in London, 1671-1913” Plenary Lecture; The Metropolis on Trial conference held at the Open University, United Kingdom, July 14, 2008
  • “Unsexing Themselves? Women and Homicide in the late Victorian United Kingdom” International Association of Historians of Crime and Criminal Justice Le Maison de Sciences de l”Hommes Paris France, June 5-7, 2003
  • “ ‘Innocent Life and Weak and Feeble Women’: domestic violence in late Victorian Ireland and Scotland” International Conference on the History of Violence, University of Liverpool, July, 2001

Fellowships and Grants

  • National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend, 1991
  • American Philosophical Society Research Grant, 2000
  • National Science Foundation ADVANCE Professorship, 2004-2005

Awards and Professional Organizations


  • Roger McHugh Prize for “the outstanding learned essay in Irish studies,” 2001
  • Graduate Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring, 2014

Professional Organizations

  • American Historical Association
  • North American Conference on British Studies
  • American Conference on Irish Studies
  • Social Science History Association
  • International Association for the History of Crime and Criminal Justice