PhD (2010), MLitt (2006), MA Hons, first class (2004)
Senior Research Associate
020 3549 5626
Tim Causer joined the Bentham Project in 2010. Until the end of 2015 he was responsible for the co-ordination of the award-winning crowdsourced transcription initiative, Transcribe Bentham. He also worked on the EU-funded tranScriptorium programme, which developed solutions for the searching, indexing and full transcription by machines of historic handwritten manuscripts. He is the editor of the Journal of Bentham Studies.
He is currently editing Jeremy Bentham’s writings on convict transportation, colonialism, and imperialism for the AHRC-funded project, ‘Convict Australia and Utilitarianism: Jeremy Bentham’s Writings on Australia.’ One of the main outputs of this work will be a volume of the Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham, containing three seminal texts: The Letters to Lord Pelham, otherwise known as Panopticon versus New South Wales; A Plea for the Constitution; and the never before published Colonization Society Proposal. This research will help to shed more light on the failure of Bentham’s panopticon prison scheme, and on the enduring importance of his critique of transportation.
Tim completed his PhD at the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies at King’s College, London, which investigated and challenged the prevailing myths about the notorious penal station at Norfolk Island (1825-55) by examining previously underused archival sources. He received his undergraduate MA (2004) and Master of Letters (2006) degrees in History from the University of Aberdeen.
Tim’s research interests are in the histories of convict transportation, crime and punishment, colonial Australia. In 2014 he travelled to Norfolk Island to appear in an episode of Coast Australia, and he is currently working on an edition of the Memorandoms of James Martin—the first Australian convict narrative, which is in the Bentham Papers—for UCL Press.
Articles and book chapters
- Causer, T., Grint, K., Sichani, A-M., and Terras, M. (2016), ‘ “Making such bargain”: Transcribe Bentham and the quality and cost-effectiveness of crowdsourced transcription, Digital Scholarship in the Humanities (in submission).
- Causer, T., and Schofield, P. (2015), ‘Jeremy Bentham and the Computer Age: Reflections on Crowdsourcing and the Transcription of Handwritten Documents’, Annual Bulletin of Resources and Historical Collections Office, The Library of Economics, The University of Tokyo, vol. 5, pp. 2-19.
- Causer, T., and Terras, M. (2014), ‘”Many hands make light work. Many hands together make merry work”: Transcribe Bentham and crowdsourcing manuscript collections’, in Crowdsourcing Our Cultural Heritage, ed. M. Ridge (Ashgate), pp. 57-88.
- Causer, T., and Terras, M. (2014), ‘Crowdsourcing Bentham: Beyond the Traditional Boundaries of Academic History’, International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing, vol. 8 (1), pp. 46-64. Pre-publication version available in UCL Discovery.
- Gatos, B., Louloudis, G., Causer, T., Grint, K., Romero, V., Sánchez, J.A., Toselli, A.H., and Vidal, E., ‘Ground-Truth Production in the tranScriptorium Project’, DAS 2014, 11th IAPR International Workshop on Document Analysis Systems, pp.237-44
- Causer, T. (2012), ‘Anti-transportation, “unnatural crime”, and the “horrors” of Norfolk Island’, Journal of Australian Colonial History, vol. 14, pp.230-40.
- Causer, T., and Wallace, V. (2012), ‘Building a Volunteer Community: Results and Findings from Transcribe Bentham‘, Digital Humanities Quarterly, vol. 6 (2).
- Causer, T., Tonra, J., and Wallace, V. (2012), ‘Transcription Maximized; Expense Minimized? Crowdsourcing and Editing The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham‘, Literary and Linguistic Computing, vol. 27 (2), pp. 119-137.
- Causer, T. (2011), ‘“The Worst Types of Sub-human Beings”? The Myth and Reality of the Convicts of the Second Penal Settlement at Norfolk Island, 1825-1855’, Islands of History(Sydney, 2011), pp.8-31
- Causer, T. (2011),‘Norfolk Island’s “suicide lotteries”: Legend and Reality’, Islands of History (Sydney, 2011), pp.61-68
- Causer, T. (2008), ‘“On British Felony the Sun Never Sets”: Narratives of Political Prisoners in New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land, 1838-1853’, Cultural and Social History, Vol. 4 (5), pp.423-435.
- Causer, T. (2015), ‘Crime, Punishment and Redemption: A Convict’s Story, by June Slee’, The Mariner’s Mirror, Vol. 101 (3), pp. 365-67.
- Causer, T. (2014), ‘Dark Paradise: Norfolk Island – Isolation, Savagery, Mystery, and Murder, by Robert Macklin‘, Reviews in Australian Studies, Vol. 8 (1).
- Causer, T. (2013), ‘A Merciless Place: The lost story of Britain’s convict disaster in Africa by Emma Christopher‘, Reviews in Australian Studies, Vol. 7 (5).
- Causer, T. (2011), ‘Exiled: The Port Arthur convict photographs by Edwin Barnard‘, Reviews in Australian Studies, Vol. 5 (4).
- Causer, T. (2010), ‘A Swindler’s Progress: Nobles and Convicts in the Age of Liberty by Kirsten McKenzie‘, Reviews in Australian Studies, Vol. 4 (2).
- Causer, T. (2008), ‘Australia’s Birthstain: The Startling Legacy of the Convict Era by Babette Smith‘, Reviews in Australian Studies, Vol. 3 (7).
- Causer, T. (2008), ‘Closing Hell’s Gates: The Death of a Convict Station by Hamish Maxwell-Stewart‘, Reviews in Australian Studies, Vol. 3 (4).
- Causer, T. (2008), ‘Gender, Crime and Empire: Convicts, Settlers and the State in Early Colonial Australia by Kirsty Reid‘, Reviews in Australian Studies, Vol. 3 (2).
- Causer, T. (2007), ‘The History of Australian Corrections, by Sean O’Toole‘, Reviews in Australian Studies, Vol. 2 (5).