Hi, I’m Jack. I, like Ben, joined the newly established school of Psychological and Social Sciences in September as a Lecturer in Sociology and Criminology – helping establish the first year of two new degree pathways. As an early career researcher, I’m currently putting the finishing touches on my PhD that investigates the cultural consumption of crime through physical objects. That’s things like, crime museums, communities who collect crime artefacts, and crime products like clothes, for example. My PhD is researched from a Cultural Criminology perspective, and my background is as a Criminologist. But despite this crime focus, my research interests are far reaching and include crime in popular culture, deviant leisure, dark tourism, death and morbidity.
On that note, I recently organised a three day international conference called Death and Culture. This brought together scholars from a broad array of disciplines to discuss death and its importance in sociology, museums studies, heritage, modern studies, art history, history, literature, film, television, theatre, sociology, criminology and many more. You can see the conference website here, and a review crafted by some conference guests here. There will be follow up events taking place collaboratively at York St John University and The University of York, as well as a series of publications, and you can subscribe to this blog for further updates. This interest in death was driven by overlaps with my PhD work on morbid fascination – and you can read some of my work on the commodification of infamous criminal Charles Manson here, published in the journal Mortality.
My teaching at York St John University will be far reaching as a multi-disciplinary scholar in a small department, but for the time being I am running two first year criminology modules; Key Concepts for Criminologists – laying the foundations of criminological knowledge, and Crime and Deviance in a Contemporary World – considering the implications of globalisation on criminology. And two sociology modules; the first year Investigating Sociologically, and the second year The Sociology of Work. Before embroiling myself in all of this morbidity, I was a student and teacher at The University of York where I completed all of my degrees. This consisted of studying a BA in Sociology with Criminology, followed by an MA in Social Research Methods, and a PhD in Sociology. Teaching included criminology and sociology modules Popular Culture, Media and Society, Introduction to Crime and Deviance and Social Research Methods.
My current research agenda includes submitting my thesis in the coming months, before editing and submitting this research for journal publication. In particular, this will take the form of an ethnography of crime museums for Theoretical Criminology, an analysis of the market for mass produced crime consumables, and an investigation of the value and meaning of collections of crime artefacts, both intended for Crime, Media, Culture. You can keep up to date with the progress of my work by following me on twitter, or by subscribing to my academic blog.