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John Carter Wood

John Carter Wood is a Visiting Research Fellow in the History Department and has degrees in history from Northern Illinois University (B.A.) and the University of Maryland, College Park (M.A. and Ph.D.). His research interests are primarily in the history of British crime, and he approaches this topic from a perspective that seeks to tie it to other social and cultural issues, such as the maintenance of social order or the activities and role of the media.

Having published a book on violence in nineteenth-century Britain, Dr. Wood is currently broadening his research specialisations through projects examining, on the one hand, ethnicity and crime in the eighteenth century and, on the other, the interconnections between media, gender and crime in the late 1920s. He is also interested with exploring ways of integrating biological/evolutionary explanations for human thought and behaviour into cultural and social approaches to history.


  • Violence and Crime in Nineteenth-Century England: The Shadow of Our Refinement (London: Routledge, 2004).
  • ‘“Mrs. Pace” and the Ambiguous Language of Victimization’, in (Re)Interpretations: The Shapes of Justice in Women’s Experience, eds Lisa Dresdner and Laurel Peterson (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2008).
  • (With Anja Müller-Wood), ‘Bringing the Past to Heel: History, Identity and Violence in Ian McEwan’s Black Dogs ’, Literature and History 16, no. 2 (2007): 43-56.
  • ‘Evolution, Civilization and History: A Response to Wiener and Rosenwein’, Cultural and Social History 4, no. 4 (2007): 559-65.
  • ‘The Limits of Culture? Society, Evolutionary Psychology and the History of Violence’, Cultural and Social History 4, no. 1, 2007: 95-114.
  • ‘Locating Violence: Space and the Construction of Physical Aggression’, in ‘Assaulting the Past’: Placing Violence in Historical Context, ed. Katherine Watson (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007).
  • ‘Conceptualising Cultures of Violence and Cultural Change’, in Cultures of Violence, ed. Stuart Carroll (London: Macmillan, 2007).
  • ‘Criminal Violence in Modern Britain’, History Compass 4, 1 (2006): 77-90.
  • ‘The Process of Civilization (and its Discontents): Violence, Narrative and History’, in Discourses of Violence – Violence of Discourses: Critical Interventions, Transgressive Readings and Post-National Negotiations, ed. Dirk Wiemann, Agata Stopinska, Anke Bartels and Johannes Angermüller (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2005): 117-28.
  • ‘A Useful Savagery: The Invention of Violence in Nineteenth-Century England’, Journal of Victorian Culture, 9, 1 (2004): 22-42.
  • ‘It’s a Small World After All? Reflections on Violence in Comparative Perspectives’, in Comparative Histories of Crime, ed. Barry Godfrey, Clive Emsley and Graeme Dunstall (Collompton: Willan, 2003): 36-52.
  • ‘Self-Policing and the Policing of the Self: Violence, Protection and the Civilizing Bargain in Britain’, Crime, Histoire & Sociétés/Crime, History & Societies 7, 1 (2003): 109-28.
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