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Myths about crime in history


Admission requirements



Is what we think about crime in the past right? There are a lot of assumptions about crime in the past that are based on wrong information. Did violence increase in the course of the early modern and modern period? Did women seldom commit crimes or use violence? Did the social laws of the 19th century improve the position of criminal and neglected children? Both historians and criminologists have assumptions about such issues that may be wrong. In this seminar we will examine various myths about crime in the past by looking at the arguments and sources of historians and the debates about crime, violence, gender and young criminals.

Course objectives

  • Familiarize with some key debates in the field of crime in the past.

  • Learn how to analyse and contextualise a historical discussion

  • Learn how to discuss and analyse such a debate succinctly

  • Learn how to write a review


See here.

Mode of instruction

Research seminar.

Assessment method

  • Participation in class (20 %)

  • Presentation (20 %)

  • Essay of 5000 words (60 %)



Reading list

Reading will be announced on blackboard and during the classes.


via uSis.

Contact information

Email: Ms.dr. M.P.C. van der Heijden


If only native speakers of Dutch participate, the course can be taught in Dutch