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Scholarly Interest Report
         
Martin J. Wiener
Professor
Mary Gibbs Jones Chair in History
 
e-mail:wiener@rice.edu
 
  • B.A. (1962) Brandeis University
  • Ph.D (1967) Harvard University
 
Primary Department
   Department of History
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Research Areas
 history of criminal justice; history of British empire
 
"An Empire of Law? Violence, Race and Imperial Authority in the British Empire, 1880-1930"
 Book.
 

Research Statement

 

Book in progress on "liberalism" in the British Empire


Article in progress on "Victorian Punishment: A Success Story?".

 
"An Empire of Law? Violence, Race and Imperial Authority in the British Empire, 1880-1930"
 Book-length study of the treatment of inter-racial homicide and rape in six colonies of the British Empire, and what that reveals of the internal "fault lines" within British rule.
 
An Empire of Law? Violence, Race and Imperial Authority in the British Empire, 1880-1930
 Current Book Project

 
An Empire on Trial: Race, Murder and Justice under British Rule, 1870-1935
 During 2007 I completed a book-length ms. with this title, and submitted it to Cambridge University Press, where it is now being read.
 
Teaching Areas
 modern British and imperial history
 
Selected Publications
 Refereed articles
 

“The Idea of ‘Colonial Legacy’ and the Historiography of Empire”, The Journal of the Historical Society, Spring 2013.

 
 

Martin J. Wiener "'The Idea of “Colonial Legacy” and the Historiography of Empire', Journal of the Historical Society." In Press

 
 

Martin J. Wiener "Contribution to “Roundtable on Christopher Bayly, Recovering Liberties”, in Britain and the World 5.2 (Fall 2012), 294-313. ." 

 
 

Martin J. Wiener "Homicide and Englishness?: Criminal Justice and National Identity in Victorian England." National Identities, 6 (2004) : 203-214.

 
 Articles
 

Wiener, Martin J. "Convicted Murderers and the Victorian Press: Condemnation vs. Sympathy." Crimes and Misdemeanours: Deviance and the Law in Historical Perspective, 1 (2007) : 110-125.

 
 

Wiener, Martin J. "Evolution and History-Writing: A Comment on J. Carter Wood, ‘The Limits Of Culture?'." Cultural and Social History, 4 (2007) : 545-551.

 
 

Martin J. Wiener "Murderers and 'Reasonable Men': The 'Criminology' of the Victorian Judiciary,"." Criminals and Their Scientists (Cambridge & NY)

 
 

Martin J. Wiener "Profile of a Scholar." Dialogue (newsletter of the Rice Center for the Study of Cultures)

 
 

Martin J. Wiener "Murder and the Modern British Historian." Albion: A Journal of British Studies, 36 (2004)

 
 

Martin J. Wiener "Homicide and ¿Englishness¿: Criminal Justice and National Identity in Victorian England." National IdentitiesIn Press

 
 Books
 

Martin J. Wiener "English Culture and the Decline of the Industrial Spirit - Chinese translation." 

 
 

Wiener, Martin J. "An Empire on Trial: Race, Murder and Justice under British Rule 1870-1930."  (2008)

 
 

Martin J. Wiener "English Culture and the Decline of the Industrial Spirit, 1850-1980."  (2004)

 
 

Martin J. Wiener "Men of Blood: Violence, Manliness and Criminal Justice in Victorian England ."  (2004)

 
 

Martin J. Wiener "Men of Blood: Violence, Manliness and Criminal Justice in Victorian England." 

 
 Book chapters
 

Martin J. Wiener "“A Semi-Exclusionary Empire: Uses of British Liberal Ideals in the Empire,” in The Cultural Construction of the British World., ed. Mark Hampton (Manchester University Press, 2015) ." 

 
 

Martin J. Wiener "“A Semi-Exclusionary Empire: Uses of British Liberal Ideals in the Empire,” in Empire State of Mind: Articulations of British Culture in the Empire, 1707-1997, ed. Mark Hampton (Berkeley: University of California Press) ." In Press

 
 

Martin J. Wiener "“The Travails of Colonial Judging: The Case of the Bahamas 1886-93”, in Judges and Judging in the History of the Common Law and Civil Law: From Antiquity to Modern Times, ed. Paul Brand & Joshua Getzler (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).." 

 
 

Wiener, Martin J. "Probing the Fault Lines of Imperial Authority: Inter-Racial Homicide Trials in British India." Modern Histories of Criminal Law (2007)

 
 

Wiener, Martin J. "Race, Class & Maritime Authority in Late Victorian England: The Surprising Murder Trials of Charles Arthur (1888) and Bagwahn Jassiwara (1891)." The Cultural History of Violence

 
 

Wiener, Martin J. "Section of English Culture and the Decline of the Industrial Spirit, 1850-1980: pp. 11-24 (plus endnotes 173-177)." THE VICTORIAN STUDIES READER, (2007)

 
 

Martin J. Wiener "Graham Wallas." The New Dictionary of National Biography (2004)

 
 

ed. G. Dunstall, C. Emsley & B. Godfrey "Comparative Histories of Crime." In Press

 
 

ed. Peter Becker and Richard Wetzell "Criminals and their Scientists: The History of Criminology in International Perspective." In Press

 
 

Kerry Greenwood, ed., Wiener, M. "An Avenging Angel: The Trial of Annette Myers." On Murder 2

 
 Book reviews
 

Martin Wiener "Review of Bridget Walsh, Domestic Murder in Nineteenth-Century England ." Victorian Review, Fall 2015

 
 

Martin J. Wiener "Review of Bonny Ibhawoh, Imperial Justice: Africans in Empire's Court." American Historical Review, Oct 2014

 
 

 Review of Nicola Goc, Women, Infanticide & the Press, 1822-1922, in Crimes, Histoires et Societes, Winter 2013.

 
 

Martin J. Wiener "““An ‘Empire of Law’? Controlling Executive Power in a Worldwide Polity”, (2010) 1(2) Transnational Legal Theory 325–328. [review essay on Rande Kostal, A Jurisprudence of Power: Victorian Empire and the Rule of Law]. ." 

 
 

Martin Wiener "Elizabeth Kolsky, Colonial Justice in British India, in English Historical Review. Dec. 2010.." 

 
 

Martin J. Wiener "Review of Behaving Badly: Social Panic and Moral Outrage – Victorian and Modern Parallels, ed. Judith Rowbotham and Kim Stevenson." Crime, History, Societies

 
 

Martin J. Wiener "Review of Criminal Conversations: Victorian Crimes , Social Panic and Moral Outrage." H-Net

 
 

Martin J. Wiener "Review of John Carler Wood, Violence and Crime in Nineteenth-Century England." Journal of Social History

 
 

Martin J. Wiener "Review of Pieter Spierenburg, Written in Blood: Fatal Attraction in Enlightenment Amsterdam." Crime, History, Societies

 
 

Martin J. Wiener "Joel Eigen, Unconscious Crime: Mental Absence and Criminal Responsibility in Victorian London." American Historical Review (2004)

 
 Refereed conference papers
 

Martin J. Wiener "Murderers and 'Reasonable Men': The 'Criminology' of the Victorian Judiciary." Criminals and Their Scientists, ed. Peter Becker and Richard Wetzell ( (2004)

 
 Other
 

Martin J. Wiener "Foreword." Comparative Histories of Crime, ed. G. Dunstall, C. Emsley & B. Godfrey (2004)

 
 

" Alice Arden to Bill Sikes: Changing Nightmares of Intimate Homicide in England, 1558-1869." Journal of British Studies, 40 (April 2001) : 184-212.

 
 

Martin J. Wiener "Alice Arden to Bill Sikes: Changing Nightmares of Intimate Homicide in England, 1558-1869." Journal of British Studies (2001)

 
 

Martin J. Wiener "Domesticity: Disciplining Women or Feminizing Society? ." An Age of Equipoise? Mid-Victorian Britain Reassessed. (2000)

 
 

Martin J. Wiener "Graham Wallas." The New Dictionary of National Biography (2002)

 
 

Martin J. Wiener "Murderers and 'Reasonable Men': The 'Criminology' of the Victorian Judiciary.." The Criminal and His Scientists. (2000)

 
 

Wiener, M "Chapter One." Rethinking Decline: Britain Towards 2000 , ed. Richard English and Michael Kenny . (1999)

 
 

Wiener, M "Judges v. Jurors: Courtroom Tensions and the Development of the Law of Criminal Responsibility in Nineteenth-Century England." Law and History Review (Fall 1999)

 
 

"The Sad Story of George Hall: Adultery, Murder and the Politics of Mercy in Mid-Victorian England." Social History (May 1999.)

 
 

Martin Wiener "Domesticity: Disciplining Women or Feminizing Society?,." An Age of Equipoise? Mid-Victorian Britain Reassessed, ed. Martin Hewitt (1999)

 
 

Martin Wiener "Treating ?Historical? Sources as Literary Texts: Literary Historicism and Modern British History." Journal of Modern History (1998)

 
Presentations
 Conference Paper
 

"Liberal Imperialism and Women's Rights in British India, presented at the North American Conference on British Studies annual conference, Minneapolis, Minn.,

 ." (Nov. 10, 2014)

 
 

"Putting Colonial Violence in Historical Perspective, presented at the Midwest Conference of Victorian Studies, Ann Arbor, MI." (April 4, 2015)

 
 Invited Papers
 

"“Rethinking Imperial Liberalism: Family Reforms and the Raj”, Western Conference on British Studies, Las Vegas. ." (November 10, 2012)

 
 

"“The Three Faces of Liberalism in the British Empire,” Triangle Global British Studies seminar

 ." ( Feb. 8, 2012)

 
 

Martin J. Wiener, “A Semi-Exclusionary Empire: British Liberal Ideals in the Empire,” conference on “Empire State of Mind:  Articulations of British Culture in the Empire, 1707-1997,” Lingnan University, Hong Kong, May 25-27, 2011; also at National Humanities Center, October 6, 2011.

 
 

 “What Happened in the Empire When a White Man Killed a ‘Black’ Man?” Conference on Ethnicity and Crime, The Open University, UK, June 8, 2010.

 

 
 

 

“What Difference Did the Empire Make to 19th Century Britain?”- presentation at conference on “The Long 19th Century,” University of Houston and Rice University, October 23, 2010.

 
 

"The New Leniency Towards Female Murderers in Victorian England." American Society for Legal History, Dallas. (November )

 
 

"Race at the Old Bailey,1870-1900: ‘Chivalry’ and Democracy." Center for the History of Crime and Policing, the Open University, United Kingdom. (July 11, 2008)

 
 

"Can Savages Be Kidnapped?." Fourth British Worlds Conference, Bristol University, UK. (July 11-14, 2007)

 
 

"Can Savages Be Kidnapped?." Cruelty and the Law, Boston University. (April 19-21, 2007)

 
 

"Empire and Human Rights Law – A Forgotten Landmark." Crime, Violence and the Modern State – Historical Perspectives, University of Crete, Rethymno, Greece. (March 9-11, 2007)

 
 

"Some Difficulties of Colonial Judging: the Bahamas, 1886-1893." Fifteenth British Legal History Conference, St. Catherine's College, Oxford, UK. (July 2-5, 2007)

 
 

"’Manliness’ and Criminal Liability: James Fitzjames Stephen as a Judge." Fourteenth British Legal History Conference, University College, London. (July 6, 2005)

 
 

"'Typicality’ in History and in Literary Historicism." RCSC Workshop on 19th Century Enquiry: Conference on “Disciplinary Flashpoints", Rice U & U of Houston. (Apr. 2, 2005)

 
 

"An Empire of Law? Interracial Violence & the 'Rule of Law' in British India." Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities Annual Conference, Austin, TX. (Mar. 12, 2005)

 
 

"Criminal Trials and the Historian: Lessons from British East Africa." British Society for Criminology, Leeds, England. (July 13, 2005)

 
 

"Interracial Violence & the 'Rule of Law' in British India." Seminar on “New Histories of Criminal Justice,” Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy, University at Buffalo Law School. (June 11, 2005)

 
 

"Race, Class and Maritime Authority in Late Victorian Courts: Two Surprising Murder Trials." Conference on the Cultural History of Violence, U of York, York, England. (Apr 23, 2005)

 
 

"The Rise & Fall of Wife Killing, 1800-2005." Conference on “Placing Violence in Historical Context”, St. Anne’s College, Oxford. (July 9, 2005)

 
 

"Tipping Points: Dealing with Criminal Violence in Victorian England and in Recent America." Seminar on the Study of Interpersonal Violence, International Association for the History of Crime and Criminal Justice, Rotterdam, Netherlands. (Apr 26, 2005)

 
 

"Convicted Murderers and the Victorian Press: Local Newspapers Carve Out a New Role ." International Association for the History of Crime and Criminal Justice, Colloquium on ?Crime and the Media, International Association for the History of Crime and Criminal Justice, Colloquium on ?Crime and the Media", Budapest. (June 4-5, 2004)

 
 

"Convicted Murderers and the Victorian Press: The Role of Class and Gender." European Social Science History Conference, Berlin. (March 24-27, 2004)

 
 

"Another Front in the Victorian War on Drink: The Prosecution of Wife Murder." Middle Atlantic Conference on British Studies, New Brunswick, NJ. (March 22, 2003)

 
 

Paper presentation.  "The 'Un-Englishness' of Crimes of Passion." International Conf. on Comparative Histories of Crime, Keele Univ., Keele, UK. (July)

 
 Invited Talks
 

"“The Three Faces of Liberalism in the British Empire,” conference on “Britain and the World,” Edinburgh..." (June 21, 2012)

 
 

“Race, Murder and Justice in the British Empire,” public lecture, The Sorbonne [University of Paris IV], June 3, 2010.

 
 

"An Empire of Law? Interracial Violence & the 'Rule of Law' in British India." University of Miami, Miami, FL. (Nov 10, 2005)

 
 

"?Men of Blood?: Gender and the Criminal Law in Victorian and Edwardian England ." annual meeting of Societe francaise d'etudes victoriennes et edouardiennes annual meeting of Societe francaise d'etudes victoriennes et edouardiennes , Paris. (January 16, 2004)

 
 

"Dealing with Violence Against Women: ?Lessons? From Victorian England." Graduate School in Social Sciences, Universite Paris XIII, Paris. (January 15, 2004)

 
 

"Violence in History." Scientia, Rice University. (Oct. 26, 2004)

 
 

"Murder and the Modern British Historian." University of Texas, Austin, Texas. (April 18, 2003)

 
 

"The Feminist Legacy of Victorian Judges." Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association of the Western United States, Austin, Texas. (October 9, 2003)

 
 

"The ¿unexpiable wrong¿ and the unforgiveable response: killers of unfaithful wives in the English dock, 1840-1900." University of Michigan Legal History Workshop, Ann Arbor, Michigan. (February 14, 2003)

 
 

Invited Plenary Address.  "Homicide and National Identity in Victorian England." Victorian Studies Association of Western Canada, Winnipeg, Canada. (September)

 
 Keynote Speaker
 

"“Changing Paradigms in the Legal History of Empire,” keynote address to conference on “Legal Histories of the British Empire,” National University of Singapore. ." (July 3, 2012.)

 
 

“Some Dilemmas of Feminist Criminology and Criminal Historiography,” Second British Crime Historians Symposium, University of Sheffield, UK, September 2-3, 2010.

 
 

"Crime and Justice in the Empire: the Next Frontier." conference on New Directions in the History of Crime, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, UK. (Sept. 4, 2008)

 
 

"Why Have Women Been Less Violent than Men?." conference on Women and Crime in Britain and North America, 1500-Present, University of Lyon, Lyon, France. (Sept 11, 2008)

 
 

"Who knows the Empire who only the Empire knows? Reconnecting British and Imperial History From the Other Side." First British Scholars Conference, Center for British Studies, Univ Texas, Austin. (Nov 2, 2007)

 
 Lectures
 

"Violence in History." Rice University School of Continuing Studies, Rice U. (Feb. 22, 2005)

 
 Other
 

"Murder and the Modern British Historian." North American Conference on British Studies, Portland, Oregon. (October 24, 2003)

 
 

"'Englishness' and the Avenging of Adultery." Rice English Department mini-conference on "The Victorian Marriage Plot", Rice U. (May 3, 2001)

 
 

"A Monument to Victimized Womanhood: The Trial of Annette Myers." plenary lecture to the Australian Victorian Studies Association, Ballarat, Australia. (January 30, 2001)

 
 

"Homicide and ?Englishness?." plenary lecture to the Australian Modern British History Association, Melbourne, Australia. (February 4 2001.)

 
 

"Invited Participant, Liberty Fund Colloquium on "Liberty and Responsibility in the Writings of George Orwell"." Gisburn, Lancashire, England. (Sept. 5-9, 2001)

 
 

"The ?Unexpiable Wrong? and the Unforgiveable Response: Killers of Unfaithful Wives in the Dock." plenary lecture to the international conference on the History of Violence, Liverpool, England. (July 5, 2001)

 
 

"Violence Against Wives as a Defining Characteristic of the Victorian ?Underworld?." conference on "The Victorian Age Reinterpreted for the Twenty-First Century, Imperial College London. (July 14, 2001)

 
 

""Reconstructing Men: Gender and Law in Nineteenth-Century England," George Washington University, October4, 1999." George Washington University, Wash DC. (October4, 1999)

 
 

""The Trial of Annette Myers: the 'Crime of Passion' in Victorian England,"." American Society for Legal History annual conference, Toronto. (October 22, 1999)

 
 

"Judges v. Juries: Courtroom Tensions in Murder Trials and the Development of the Law of Criminal Responsibility in Nineteenth Century England." Georgetown University Law Center. (April 24, 1998)

 
 

"Murderers and "Reasonable Men": The "Criminology" of the Victorian Judiciary,." the Criminal and His Scientists, European University Institute, Florence. (Oct. 16, 1998)

 
 

"Prosecuting Violence in Nineteenth-Century England." Open University, U.K.. (February 27, 1998)

 
 

"The Sad Story of George Hall: Adultery, Murder and the Politics of Mercy in Victorian England." Princeton University. (May 1, 1998)

 
 

"The Sad Story of George Hall: Adultery, Murder and the Politics of Mercy in Victorian England." Nene Center for Research, U.K.. (February 26, 1998)

 
 Panelist
 

""Legal Histories, Imperial Histories, British Histories"." North American Conference on British Studies, Louisville. (November)

 
 

"Comments on Peter Mandler, The English National Character." North American Conference on British Studies annual meeting, San Francisco. (Nov. 9-11, 2007)

 
 

Comment.  "Commentator, The Homicide Problem in America." Social Science History Association, St. Louis, MO. (October)

 
 Seminar Speaker
 

Martin J. Wiener“Colonialism as Alibi: Rethinking the History of Colonialism and Post-colonialism.” Columbia University British Studies Seminar, March 3, 2011 and City University of New York Graduate Program lecture, March 4, 2011.

 
 

"The Experience of Defeat." North American Conference on British Studies annual meeting, Cincinnati. (Oct. 5, 2008)

 
 Session Chair
 

 “Legal Administration in the British Empire,” North American Conference on British Studies annual meeting, Baltimore, November 12-14, 2010.

 

 

 
 Workshops
 

"“Was Imperial Reform Feminist?” National Humanities Center seminar on Gender." ( Feb. 8, 2012.)

 
Editorial Positions
 Member of the Editorial Board, Victorian Review. (2015 - 2018)

 Member of the Editorial Board, Victorian Studies. (2005 - 2015)

 Member of the Editorial Board, Crime, History, Societies. (2013 - 2013)

 Member of the Editorial Board, Victorian Studies. (2013 - 2013)

 Member of the Editorial Board, Law and History Review. (2012 - 2012)

 Member of the Editorial Board, Victorian Studies. (2012 - 2012)

 Member of the Editorial Board, Crime, Histories, Societies. (2010 - 2010)

 Member of the Editorial Board, Victorian Studies. (2010 - 2010)

 Member of the Editorial Board, Law and History Review. (2010 - 2010)

 Board of Editors, Journal of Modern History. (1999 - 1999)

 Board of Editors, Journal of Modern History. (2000 - 2000)

 Board of Editors, Law and History Review. (2001 - 2001)

 Board of Editors, Law and History Review. (2000 - 2000)

Supervised Theses & Dissertations
 Susan Hanssen, PhD Imagining England: G. K. Chesterton and National Identity. (2002) (Thesis Director)

Awards, Prizes, & Fellowships
 National Humanities Center Fellow, National Humanities Center (2011-2012)

 Fellow, National Humanities Center for 2011-12 , (April 2010)

 Co-winner of the NACBS Albion Book Prize for 2005, for the best book published anywhere in the previous year by a North American scholar on any aspect of British studies since 1800, North Am Conference on British Studies (Oct 2005)

 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for 2005-2006, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2005-6)

 President, North American Conference on British Studies (2001-2003)

 Chair, Sutherland Prize Committee, American Society for Legal History (2001)

 Vice President, North American Conference on British Studies (1999-2001)

 Chair, Sutherland Prize Committee, American Society for Legal History (2000-2001)

 Vice President, North American Conference on British Studies (1999-2001)