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Introducing: Marion Pluskota

Marion Pluskota is the new post-doc on Manon van der Heijden's 'Crime and Gender' project.

"I was born in France and I did my Undergraduate in Strasbourg, where I studied History and Anthropology. During my Masters, I went to the University of Leicester, UK as part of the Erasmus programme. My Masters dissertation was a comparative study on Strasbourg and Nottingham prostitutes in the eighteenth-century. After going back to France and working on my Masters II and teaching qualifications, I decided to move back to England to do my PhD. I graduated from the University of Leicester in January 2012 and the focus of my research was prostitutes (again!) in Nantes and Bristol, 1750-1815. The aims of my PhD were to highlight the particularities of provincial prostitution in the eighteenth-century, which had never been done, by using comparative methodology.

Whilst I was doing my PhD I was also teaching in French and History, experiences that I particularly appreciated, as it was a good break from research work. After my PhD I worked on two different projects as a research assistant, using my French background and my knowledge of French archives to find data on the criminal corpse in the 18th century and paupers letters in the 18th-19th centuries. I consider myself as a gender/crime/urban/European historian and it seems that I am always juggling between methodologies and time limits!

I have now been appointed post-doctoral researcher on Manon van der Heijden’s project Crime and Gender 1600-1900. My research will focus on the 19th century and the cities of London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Bologna. If I have enough time, I may even include Nantes! I am delighted to have been selected for this position as I always wanted to use my language skills in my research. I was not expecting to learn Dutch in my lifetime but why not?!

I am particularly keen on working on this project as it means dealing with important issues in crime and gender history: the role of women in crime, the issues of private and public spheres and the relations between men, women and the judicial system. The concept of class is also fundamental in the understanding of the role of men and women in crime: can we see a difference of treatment according to the social status of the offender? Were offences committed by lower, middle or upper-middle classes described differently in the newspapers? In parallel, I am hoping to be able to map the crimes in the cities and show an evolution in the use of the urban space. Research on this topic goes far beyond the history of crime, and I hope I will also be able to make a significant contribution in both gender and urban history."

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