Family History Workshop 2: Criminal ancestors and the politics of justice

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Family History Workshop session 2: Criminal ancestors and the politics of justice

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Almost every historical family has members who have been labelled as criminals. But what does this mean? How common was it for people to become lawbreakers in different times and places, and what were the consequences? What was the experience of arrest, trial, and punishment for criminals and their families, from capital and corporal punishment, transportation and prison, fines and rehabilitation? This session will also explore what it means and how it feels to have criminal ancestors.

This event will be recorded; by joining us to you consent to being recorded.

3:30-4:15 Reflections from the field

• Heather Shore and Helen Johnson, on the Our Criminal Ancestors Project

• Cynthia Brown, Convict Ancestors, Celebration, and Shame

• Julia Laite, Sexual crimes and very difficult family histories

• Group discussion/Q&A

4:15-4:30 Break

4:30-5:30 Breakout room workshops

1. Are there some crimes that don’t bother us, and others that do? How do we frame and reframe stories of criminality in our families?

2. What do we do when we uncover dark family stories of abuse and violence?

3. How do we understand lawbreakers in our family’s past, and how can that help us understand them in families present?

5:30-5:45 Closing remarks and guidance for mini-blogs and discussion forum.

Report back on a twitter hour or asynchronous forum; Mini blogs on website.

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