We are delighted to announce that history student Caroline Ingram has been awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Prize for her honours thesis, supervised by Dr Tiffany Shellam. The title of the thesis is, Flirting with the Hangman’s noose? Gender constructions of women accused of killing in Western Australia, 1829 – 1929. This is the abstract:
‘Gender constructions of women accused of killing in Western Australia between 1829 and 1929’ examines women tried for murder in Western Australia between during the first 100 years of settlement. In particular, it examines the theory of ‘double deviance’ advanced by criminologists and historians which states that women convicted of crime are harshly punished: that they are punished not only for the crime itself, but for their deviance from the prevailing ideology of femininity.
The dissertation also argues that, for some women, the courtroom presented an opportunity to construct feminine identities for themselves which conformed to the dominant discourse of femininity.
‘Flirting with the hangman’s noose?’ uses archival historical research methodology to examine the case studies of Jane Green, Margaret Cody and Audrey Jacob to determine if the theory of ‘double deviance’ applied to violent crime committed by women during this period of Western Australia’s history.’