University home |A-Z|

Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine

Forensic Cultures in Interdisciplinary Perspective

11-12 June 2010

This international conference examines in analytical and historical perspective the remarkable prominence of forensic science and medicine in contemporary culture. It brings together leading scholars from history, sociology and socio-legal studies, media and cultural studies, and practitioners working within the diverse locations of forensic culture – from crime scenes and bio-medical laboratories to television studios. Topics for discussion include the politics and practice of DNA evidence, the use of "cold case review" in re-evaluating celebrated murder trials from the past, the historical invention of "crime scene investigation", the work of forensic identification at mass grave sites, and media forensics – including a dinner event featuring the creators of Waking the Dead and Silent Witness.

Forensic Cultures is sponsored by the University of Manchester's Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine and by the Wellcome Trust.

Room G 107, Alan Turing Building (No 46 on the campus map)

[LINK REMOVED] Download the registration form - please note: registration deadline extended to 7 June 2010

Download the programme and conference poster


DAY 1 - Friday 11 June

Registration and Tea/Coffee: 9.45 -10.30

Introduction: 10.30 – 11.00

Session I: Broad Themes (11.00 - 12.45)

Christopher Hamlin, University of Notre Dame
"Forensic Cultures in Historical Perspective"

Michael Lynch, Cornell University
"Science, Truth, and Forensic Cultures: The exceptional legal status attributed to DNA evidence"

Paul Roberts, University of Nottingham
"Negotiating Forensics: Between law, science, and criminal justice"

Lunch: 1.00 - 2.00

Session II: Historical Case Studies (2.00 - 3.45)

Ian Burney and Neil Pemberton, University of Manchester
"Traces and Places: The making of the modern crime scene"

Alison Adam , University of Salford
"Alfred Lucas and the Development of Forensic Chemistry"

Alison Winter, University of Chicago
"Securing Memory in Cold-War America"

Refreshments: 3.45 - 4.15

Session III: Practitioner Perspectives (4.15 - 6.00)

Simon Cole, University of California, Irvine
"Forensic Reality?: CSI, Media, and Technoscience"

Gary Edmond, University of New South Wales
"Suspect science and unreliable law: The legal topography of 'facial mapping' evidence"

Barbara Prainsack, King's College, University of London
"Views from the inside: Self-stigmatisation and biopolitical discourse in Austrian prisons. A case study on forensic DNA technologies"

Dinner and Evening Event: Screening Forensics (7.00 – 10.30)

Barbara Machin, Creator, Waking the Dead


DAY 2 - Saturday 12 June

Tea/Coffee: 9.30 - 10.00

Session I: Analyzing Practices (10.00 - 11.45)

David Foran, Michigan State University
"Did Crippen do it? Reflections on retrospective forensics"

William Haglund, International Forensic Program, Physicians for Human Rights
"Thresholds of Identity: The ethics, politics and science of mass grave forensics"

Caroline Wilkinson, University of Dundee
"Facial Identification of the Dead: The ethical issues associated with the facial depiction of unknown human remains"

Lunch: 12.00 - 1.00

Session II: Forensic Publics (1.00 – 2.45)

Deborah Jermyn, Roehampton University
"Labs and Slabs: Prime Suspect, TV crime drama and the quest for forensic realism"

David Kirby, University of Manchester
"Forensic Fictions: The Production of Forensic Science in Television Dramas"

Michael Sappol, National Library of Medicine, NIH
"(in)Visible Proofs; or, The case of the hidden politics of forensic exhibitionism"


Contacts:  Ian Burney and David Kirby


Other events that may be of interest:

Forensic Science in the 2010s: How to Survive a Difficult Decade
Northumbria University Centre for Forensic Science (NUCFS), Newcastle upon Tyne, 8 June 2010

Disclaimer | Privacy | Copyright notice | Accessibility | Freedom of information |