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Conferences and seminars

York Deviancy Conference 2011

The York Deviancy Conference


Critical perspectives on crime, deviance, disorder and social harm

Key Speakers:

Steve Hall, Jock Young, Rob White, Loic Wacquant, Angela McRobbie, Keith Hayward, Pat Carlen, Sandra Walklate, Jeff Ferrell, Stan Cohen, David Downes, Paul Walton, Laurie Taylor.

From 29th June 2011 until 1st July 2011 the University of York will host a new National Deviancy Conference entitled ‘Critical Perspectives on Crime, Deviance, Disorder and Social Harm’.

The conference is intended to provide critical criminologists working across diverse disciplinary affiliations with the opportunity to come together and exchange ideas about crime, deviance and the future of studies that seek to engage with some of the greatest challenges.


In 1968 what was then the world’s first conference exploring the nature of deviancy was held at the University of York. The conference brought together a group of young criminologists who challenged conventional, state-oriented and statistical approaches to crime. The York conference was a landmark event and is now recognised as one of the key milestones in the development of critical criminology in the UK.

In the current global context we face significant social and economic pressures. Within many countries unprecedented institutional and disciplinary pressures are bearing down on those working in and around criminology. The most significant global recession since the 1930s has placed the retrenchment of social programs and the vilification of particular sections of society at the forefront of political debate. Globalised and pre-emptive forms of action against harm have maintained terrorism at the forefront of political concern while significant ecological changes fuel a sense that these interconnected forms of crisis are both more extensive and intensive than any that have been witnessed before. In this context narrow concerns with crime and punitive action feel both overly restrictive and diminish attempts at understanding the articulation and expansion of social harms and violence and ameliorating their impact.

The time is now ripe for a renewed commitment to critical scholarship that pushes beyond the restricted, policy-oriented and broadly conformist ambitions of mainstream criminology.

Call for papers

The conference theme is broadly conceived and we are keen to encourage papers from a variety of critical perspectives. We are particularly eager to encourage papers that are speculative, theoretically informed, future oriented, as well as those straying outside the usual parameters of mainstream criminological thought.

Key themes:

  • All aspects of crime and deviance
  • Social disorder and conduct
  • Social harms in their diverse forms

Clearly the remit of these areas is immensely, and intentionally, broad. We seek both empirical and theoretical papers that draw on diverse topic areas providing variously constructive, polemical, considered and critical discussions of key elements of socially harmful and criminal behaviours. We are also particularly keen to hear from those working around economic harms; globalised and networked forms of criminality and harm; environmental criminology; ‘invisible’ problems of criminality and hurt; psycho-social assessments of, among other things, violence and abuse, and treatments that bring in spatial (urban, neighbourhood and related research settings) considerations.

Information for abstract submissions

  • All abstracts will be thoroughly peer reviewed and must be in keeping with the conference themes;
  • Abstracts must be no more than 300 words in length;
  • Please ensure that your abstract is submitted as a Word document, has a clear title, and contains your name, institution and contact details. If you are planning a joint presentation, please provide details for all those involved;
  • If you would like to propose a panel (four papers) built around a particular topic, please contact the organisers to discuss your proposal. Again, we are keen to encourage such proposals, but all streams and papers must fit the conference themes;
  • At least one journal special issue and a book are planned outputs from the meeting, please indicate your willingness to be considered for these on your abstract;
  • The closing date for submission of abstracts is January 31st 2011.
  • We will provide you with a decision as quickly as possible;
  • Please submit your abstract using the Individual proposal form below. If you are interested in submitting a panel including 3 papers please use the panel proposal form for your submission. All proposals must be sent to Josine Opmeer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).


Publication Plans

Two key outputs are intended to come from the proceedings of the 2011 Deviancy conference. First, we are in negotiations with a major publisher to produce an edited collection that addresses critical criminology, globalisation, social harm, capitalism, consumer culture, social order, control, and the future direction of criminological scholarship for an 'intelligent', non-academic audience. The provisional title of the book is 'Broken Worlds'.

A special issue of Crime, Media, Culture: An International Journal has been confirmed by the journal's editors and will draw together a selection of papers from the conference that address the meeting's core themes. We will be making a final selection immediately after the completion of the meeting.


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