Dr Kate West

LLB (Hons) (Edin) MSc DPhil (Oxon)

Senior Lecturer in Visual Criminology

School of Law and Social Sciences

Kate West


Dr Kate West is Senior Lecturer in Criminology in the School of History, Philosophy and Culture. She read her research-council funded DPhil (PhD) and research-council funded MSc (Dist) at the University of Oxford and LLB (First Class) at the University of Edinburgh.

Teaching and supervision


Kate is an interdisciplinary scholar. Her research interests lie between criminology and critical formations of art history—including visual and material culture studies—and art theory and criticism (especially as these relate to race, colony, empire and gender). She is primarily concerned with developing a theoretical and methodological literacy of art history in criminology. Additionally, she is developing a new research interest in counter and future art histories of crime.

Kate’s doctoral research, which will form the basis of her first book, critically established the role of modern western-European visual art and colonial(ist) and imperially commissioned ethnological drawings, paintings and prints made by academically trained artists in nineteenth century Italian criminal anthropology. She conducted archival research of the anthropological collections at, among other sites, the Museum of Criminal Anthropology, Turin, as well as the Museum of Natural History, Le Havre, and undertook English-language translations of predominantly Italian and French primary sources. She trained in academic Italian at the University of Oxford’s Language Centre.

Kate has published her scholarship in international peer-reviewed journals and presented her research internationally to academic, professional and public audiences. Most recently, she was invited to deliver her research on the ethics of exhibiting criminal portraiture at the National Portrait Gallery, London. Her research has featured in local and national broadcast media including BBC Radio 3 and she was shortlisted for Channel 5’s New Faces’ New Voices project in 2021.



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Further details

Kate, who is openly autistic, presented the University of Oxford’s Annual Disability Lecture to a sell-out 1000-capacity audience in 2020 and has been interviewed about her disability activism for national news media including The New Statesman.