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The Betty Behrens Seminar on Classics of Historiography

Karen O’Brien (Durham University) will speak about "The History of England from the Accession of James I to that of the Brunswick Line" by Catherine Macaulay and engage in discussion with the attendees.

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‘Trap Life’: The psychosocial underpinnings of street crime in inner-city London

Tue 13 February

Wolfson College

Through an ethnographic exploration of what disadvantaged urban men term ‘trap life’, this presentation demonstrates how different ‘trapper’ identities, enacted to manage economic, social, and psychological vulnerability allows an understanding of the varied motivations to take part in criminality and violence. Whilst the terms ‘dangerous’, ‘pathological’ and ‘criminal’ are deployed to account for street lifestyles, such stereotypical imagery with roots in history, media, political discourse, and policing practices, downplays the humanity of men living in the margins of society and neglects their version of reality. Far from being exclusively violent perpetrators, urban men are especially vulnerable as they are trapped in a never-ending existential crisis, which prevents successful transitions into mainstream life. I demonstrate that the issue of violence and the 21st century drug business must be placed in broader psychosocial contexts to provide a better understanding and perhaps one-day inform therapeutic and other practice interventions specially tailored to for those seeking to exit ‘trap life’.

Dr Ebony Reid is a criminologist and ethnographer who specialises in researching street crime and violence in inner-city London. She is interested in developing new psychosocial understandings of urban criminality. In her recent article published in the British Journal of Criminology, she explores how traumatic childhood events, socioeconomic factors, and cultural dynamics shape the psychology of urban drug dealers as they respond to existential suffering. Currently, she is working on her first book with a top literary publisher, aiming to turn the insights from her research into a character-driven story that can be enjoyed by a global audience.

This is a hybrid event, which will take place in-person and on Zoom.
If you would like to attend online, please register for the Zoom link: https://wolfson-cam-ac-uk.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwocuuhqjgsGdQSF_hSP3ilMbk476MsSEpV#/registration
Refreshments will be available for the in-person audience.

This event will take place in Gatsby Room on the first floor of the Chancellor's Centre. It has step-free access with a lift and there is an accessible toilet located each floor of the building.
For more details please view our AccessAble guide: https://www.accessable.co.uk/wolfson-college/access-guides/chancellor-s-centre

Cost: Free

Enquiries and booking

No need to book.

Enquiries: Chantal Holland Website Email: events@wolfson.cam.ac.uk


In person Live Stream

All times

Tue 13 February 5:30PM - 7:00PM


Address: Wolfson College
Gatsby Room (Chancellor's Centre)
Barton Road
Email: events@wolfson.cam.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1223 335900