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Prison(er) auto/biography, 'true crime', and teaching, learning, and research in criminology

Dearey, Melissa; Petty, Bethanie; Thompson, Brett; Lear, Clinton R.; Gadsby, Stephanie; Gibbs, Donna


Melissa Dearey

Bethanie Petty

Brett Thompson

Clinton R. Lear

Stephanie Gadsby

Donna Gibbs


The main aim of this essay is to explore prisoner life writing within the specific, richly and multiply dependent context of teaching and learning undergraduate criminology at an English university, from the authorial viewpoint of a teacher and her students as budding criminologists and co-authors. This article seeks to redress a continuing resistance to life history approaches in the teaching of criminology, despite the discipline being formally devoted to the understanding of the meaning and experience of imprisonment in all its forms and consequences. What follows is a trucated narrative of what students had to say on the fascinating subjects of prisoner auto/biography and its place in popular and expert discourses on crime, criminality, and punishment, contextualised within the academic discipline of criminology.


Dearey, M., Petty, B., Thompson, B., Lear, C. R., Gadsby, S., & Gibbs, D. (2011). Prison(er) auto/biography, 'true crime', and teaching, learning, and research in criminology. Critical Survey, 23(3), 86-102.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2011
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Publicly Available Date Nov 13, 2014
Journal Critical survey
Print ISSN 0011-1570
Electronic ISSN 1752-2293
Publisher Berghahn Journals
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Issue 3
Pages 86-102
Keywords Literature and Literary Theory; Cultural Studies
Public URL
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement ©2017 University of Hull
Additional Information Authors' accepted manuscript of article published in: Critical Survey, Volume 23, Number 3, 2011: 86–102. doi: 10.3167/cs.2011.230307 ISSN 0011–1570 (Print), ISSN 1752–2293 (Online)


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