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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 (Oxford University Press, 2020)

    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
  • Presentations
    • “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