Local Color and Cultural Representation: A Round-up on HBO’s ‘Mare of Easttown’

I’m going to do another round-up of writing I think is worth it on a current #crime thing. This week, everyone is talking about HBO’s Mare of Easttown, with Kate Winslet in the lead, surrounded by a fantastic cast, including Jean Smart as Mare’s mom, Julianne Nicholson as Mare’s best friend Lori, and Guy Pearce … Continue reading Local Color and Cultural Representation: A Round-up on HBO’s ‘Mare of Easttown’

Fathers of Q: A Round-up about the Netflix ‘Sons of Sam’ True Crime series

I recently binged the new True Crime series on Netflix about the 1970s “Son of Sam” or “.44 Caliber Killer” case directed by Joshua Zeman: Sons of Sam: A Descent into Darkness. The docuseries is based on the book, as well as the archive of research notes and tapes, by Maury Terry, a fringe New … Continue reading Fathers of Q: A Round-up about the Netflix ‘Sons of Sam’ True Crime series

What I’m Reading: May Update

Whoops, looks like I had a busy April and did not do a reading update. I'm still working my way through Sierra Crane Murdoch's Yellow Bird and Louise Erdrich's The Round House. Both of these books navigate the complicated and blurred lines between federal, state, and tribal jurisdictions and traditions. One is non-fiction and the … Continue reading What I’m Reading: May Update

The Mann Act, ‘White Slave Trade,’ and Cultural Construction of Race Through Criminal Codes

Often the work of cultural -- or other kinds of -- analysis involves juxtaposing different phenomena or discourses that haven’t been compared in that way before. Sometimes just placing two things together will help illuminate something new about one or the other. This is because analysis relies on perspective, and perspective is impacted by context: … Continue reading The Mann Act, ‘White Slave Trade,’ and Cultural Construction of Race Through Criminal Codes

Criminalizing Race and Sex With Conspiracy Theories: Turn of the Century New York City and the so-called White Slave Trade

I’ve written about the importance of analyzing recent popular and fringe rhetoric about sex trafficking from a longer historical perspective, as well as from a cultural studies perspective, elsewhere. I’ve been contending here and elsewhere that the current cultural attention to organized sex trafficking,* along with the more absurd theories about Hillary Clinton’s “Pizzagate” ring, … Continue reading Criminalizing Race and Sex With Conspiracy Theories: Turn of the Century New York City and the so-called White Slave Trade

Crime and Culture in the Much Bigger Picture: HBO’s ‘Exterminate All the Brutes’

I just read a review of a new docu-series on HBO, Exterminate All the Brutes, which seems fitting for the discussion of this blog. The series takes a long and broad look at the ways "whiteness" has been shaped and enforced around the globe and in the modern age. More explicitly, the four-part series is … Continue reading Crime and Culture in the Much Bigger Picture: HBO’s ‘Exterminate All the Brutes’

American Neo-Noir and the Postcolonial Unconscious

I’m taking a turn down some adjacent Crime Fiction “noir” paths right now. I’ve been watching some “neo noir” American films, and reading some cultural theory around the noir genre. Last month, I watched a 1981 film that can be considered part of the American neo-noir trend of that period: Sharky’s Machine, directed by and … Continue reading American Neo-Noir and the Postcolonial Unconscious

Making an Appeal: The critical crime and culture takes of Aja Romano

This post is a little different from my usual “Making an Appeal” posts. Instead of pointing to a publication venue or organization that is circulating fresh and critical takes on crime and crime media, I want to single out a particular culture writer who is logging cultural criticism that is well-researched and attuned to the … Continue reading Making an Appeal: The critical crime and culture takes of Aja Romano