#HI-02-03 Casing the Joint: Introducing Histories of Crime

  • Categories History
  • Duration 15h
  • Total Enrolled 4
  • Last Update September 18, 2020

About Course

The University of Newcastle Australia


Delve beyond true crime podcasts, books and television series

Crime holds a special place in Australian history, having facilitated colonisation, provided its most celebrated anti-hero in Ned Kelly and been used to sell millions of newspapers, books and movie tickets. Drawing upon a rich array of digital history resources, this course offers you a guided tour of the origins of Australian underworlds and of the study of the history of crime and punishment.

This course will allow you to develop deeper understanding of the underworlds you will encounter in podcasts, televisions series and books. You will develop a sense of the processes which occur when someone becomes entangled with the legal system, and you will know where you can go to find out more about an offender and a crime for yourself.

What topics will you cover?

  • Introduction to the major trends in the history of crime and punishment in Australia
  • Examination of the different ways in which people engage with, and study, crime
  • How British law was adapted to New South Wales and other Australian colonies
  • The impact of digitisation and online sources on the study of crime

Who will you learn with?

Nancy Cushing

I am an Associate Professor of History at the University of Newcastle and have been teaching Australian history since 1992. I am looking forward to taking our course to the online world.



Who developed the course?


The University of Newcastle is a world-class university distinguished by a commitment to equity and excellence. Ranked in Australia’s Top 10 universities, and 197th in the world (QS rankings, 2021).


What Will I Learn?

  • Demonstrate accessing digitised primary sources on the history of crime
  • Evaluate information, ideas, and arguments about the history of crime
  • Reflect on society's fascination with past crime
  • Identify the methods used to record the appearance of those taken into custody

Topics for this course

11 Lessons15h

What is the history of crime??

Find out what will be covered over the next three weeks, and who will help you cover it.
We’ll be ‘casing the joint’00:04:31
How to travel through the course
Your introduction

Approaches to Studying & Writing About Criminal Pasts?

History isn't the only academic discipline to study crime. This activity will outline the contributions and form of other genres or disciplines, including criminology and true crime writing.

Why Crime Histories Are Important?

Although there are myriad ways to get your crime 'fix', crime histories shouldn't be overlooked. Find out why in this activity.

Student Feedback


Total 4 Ratings

3 ratings
1 rating
0 rating
0 rating
0 rating

It was an interesting course, crime can happen at any time, and it gave a very deep explanation of the impact of digital and online resources on crime research, which really blew my mind.

Nancy Cushing is a great lecturer and the whole course is fun.

This course examines the different ways in which people approach and study crime and details major trends in the history of crime and punishment in Australia. It's worth thinking about.

This course delves into real crime podcasts, books and TV series, and details the impact of digital and online resources on crime research.


Material Includes

  • Official Certificate

Target Audience

  • Recommended for learners age 15+
  • This course is for anyone interested in history, criminal law, true crime and crime fiction. It would also suit those who are interested in researching crimes and criminal offenders.