Diane Urquhart

Personal Details

Diane Urquhart

Diane holds a BSc (Hons) in Sociology and Social Policy (First Class), and an MSc in Criminology (with Distinction). Her MSc dissertation, which encompassed a theoretical examination of the Spectacle of Punishment, was awarded the Best Dissertation Prize.

Diane has accumulated a wealth of research experience. This has included projects in collaboration with former colleague, Dr Sarah Hodgkinson, which focus on her main interests of Prison Tourism and Dark Tourism. She has also worked with Professor Lisa Smith on an analysis of the use of Forensic Science evidence by Police in Suspect Interviews, and with former colleague Dr John Bond, OBE, on research which explored a new and innovative method of obtaining fingerprints. She has also undertaken research which examined the use of Family Intervention Projects in reducing anti-social behaviour (see publications below).

She has delivered lectures for the School of Criminology’s MSc and BSc programmes, and has previously taught undergraduate seminars in the subjects of Clinical Criminology, Policing, and Psychology and Crime. Diane has also acted as Personal Tutor to students undertaking the School’s BSc and Distance Learning courses.

Diane’s research interests lie broadly within the realms of Punishment as Spectacle, Dark Tourism, historical and macabre notions of Punishment and Execution, and Prison Tourism. Her on-going doctoral research reflects these interests.

PhD Research

Diane’s doctoral research explores the notion of Punishment within the context of Dark Tourism. Following upon interest ignited from her MSc research, it focuses on the complexities surrounding former prison sites in the UK and their function as consumptive entities. The apparent fascination with prisons and punishment is considered within the theoretical concepts of the Gaze, Spectacle and Voyeurism. These are examined empirically adopting a qualitative stance utilising ethnographic approaches, incorporating both interviews and observational analysis as methodological nuclei.

Diane was awarded a scholarship to undertake her research and is working under the supervision of Professor Teela Sanders and Dr Wendy Fitzgibbon.


Urquhart, D. (2018) ‘Le ex-prigioni come siti di dark turism,’ in F.Lanz (Ed.), Riusare per valorizzare Ex-carceri: pratiche e progetti per un patrimonio difficile, Siracusa: LetteraVentidue. 117-136.

Hodgkinson, S. and Urquhart, D. (2017) ‘Ghost hunting in prison: Contemplating death through sites of incarceration and the co-modification of the penal past’, in J.Z. Wilson, S. Hodgkinson, J. Piché and K. Walby (Eds), The Palgrave Handbook of Prison Tourism, London: Palgrave Macmillan.559-582.

Hodgkinson, S. and Urquhart, D. (2016) ‘Prison Tourism: Exploring the spectacle of punishment in the UK’, in G. Hooper and J. Lennon (Eds) Dark Tourism: Practice and Interpretation, Abingdon: Routledge. 40-54.

Hodgkinson, S. and Jones, D. (2013) ‘The use of Family Intervention Projects to deal with anti-social behaviour: A preliminary study of keyworker perceptions’, Crime Prevention and Community Safety, 15(4): 278-291.

Hodgkinson, S. and Jones, D. (2012) Family Intervention Projects: A pilot study - A study of research conducted on Family Intervention Projects within Leicester City, Research Report for Action for Children and Spurgeons charities, March 2012.

Conference Presentations

Urquhart, D. (2019) ‘Dark Tourism in Prisons’, (poster presentation), Doctoral College Research Event, University of Leicester.

Urquhart, D. (2017) ‘(Re)locating the Prison as a site of Dark Tourism’, Unexpected Heritages, The reuse of former prisons: challenges and potentials, An International Conference promoted by Department of Architecture and Urban Studies, Politecnico di Milano, Santa Agata, Bergamo, Italy.

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T: +44 (0)116 252 2458
E: criminology@le.ac.uk


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