Digital Crime Histories and Developing a Public Pedagogy of Criminal Justice
Crime history was a pioneer in the digital arena, democratising access to the past by engaging large public and academic audiences with primary datasets online. This article traces the evolution of digital crime history from 2003 to 2021 in the United Kingdom and Australia. It charts a shift from catering to a passive audience towards projects that actively engage public audiences through crowdsourced transcriptions, interactive data visualisations and other aural, visual and multimedia forms. It has never been easier to access these nations’ criminal pasts online, but we must pause to reflect on what the aims of public engagement are. What kinds of digital public pedagogy do we want to build, and how can they be critical, reflective and widely representative? We conclude by considering the challenges to this endeavour, including what roles academics and commercial gatekeepers might play, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the uneven geographies of digitisation within the Southern Hemisphere.
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