Crime and Punishment: Outlaws, Lawmen and Deviants in the US, 1865-1941 (HIC2308)

StaffDr Kristofer Allerfeldt - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level6
Pre-requisites30 credits of History at level 1
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

To assess America's formative years as a world power through crime, deviancy and law-keeping.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Look at this period of US history thematically through the lens of criminality students will gain fresh approaches and a re-analysis of the well-documented rise of America to dominance
  • 2. Gain a knowledge of the elements which created the modern American state such essentials as universal suffrage, economic and industrial supremacy, cultural diversity, respect for individuality through the prisms of the perpetrators of crime, the lawmakers and the law enforcers
  • 3. Evaluate a variety of primary and secondary sources in a field of history dominated by non-academic interpretations

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Analyse and reflect critically and contextually upon historical texts relating to a specific historical period or theme.
  • 5. Collate data from a range of sources, both primary and secondary
  • 6. With limited guidance, understand and deploy historical terminology in a comprehensible manner
  • 7. With limited guidance, handle different approaches to history in areas of controversy
  • 8. Work with primary sources under direction from the module tutor.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 9. Show evidence of ability to read and use texts and source materials critically and empathetically
  • 10. Present material for group discussion and have respect for others reasoned views
  • 11. With limited guidance, gather and deploy material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument

Syllabus plan

Crime[s] of the Century; The Outlaw in America; Hate Crime; Lawmen and Vigilantes; Prostitution and Sex Crime; Drink and Drugs; Nationality, Race and Crime; Corporate Crime; Swindlers and Blackmailers; Political Crime; Terrorists and Freedom Fighters.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities22lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching activities11fortnightly seminars
Guided independent study267Private Study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay2,500 words 1-11Written and verbal

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay252,500 words1-7, 11 Written comments and verbal feedback on formal submission
Essay252,500 words1-7, 11 Verbal and written comments
Exam50two hours with three questions1-4, 6-9 Written comments

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1-7, 11 referral/deferral period
ExamExam1-4, 6-9 referral/deferral period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Claire Bond Potter, War on Crime: Bandits, G-Men and the Politics of Mass Culture (1998)

David Peterson Del Mar, Beaten Down: A History of Interpersonal Violence in the West (2002)

Frank Richard Prassel, The Great American Outlaw: A Legacy of Fact and Fiction (1996)

David E. Ruth, Inventing the Public Enemy: The Gangster in American Culture, 1918-1934 (1996)

Timothy Gilfoyle, City of Eros: New York City, Prostitution, and the Commercialization of Sex, 1790-1920 (1994)

Peter Huston, Tongs, Gangs, and Triads: Chinese Crime Groups in North America (2001)

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Public Enemy (2009) directed Michael Mann

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date