Glossary: What is a trope, and what do tropes have to do with crime?

This blog uses the word “trope” a lot. Let’s pause for a bit to talk about what a trope is and does. In the knowledge fields of rhetoric and poetics, a trope refers to any device that performs a substitutive role. That means a trope is a kind of replacement: a word or phrase that … Continue reading Glossary: What is a trope, and what do tropes have to do with crime?

Edmond Locard’s “Exchange Principle”

Edmond Locard (1877-1966) was a French criminologist and is considered the “father of forensic science.” His most famous legacy is probably “Locard’s Exchange Principle,” which is the basic notion that “Every contact leaves a trace.” More specifically, whenever two objects come into contact, there is always a transfer of material. This principle is a foundation … Continue reading Edmond Locard’s “Exchange Principle”

The Genre of Crime Discourse

Without nerding out too much, I think it’s important to acknowledge the term “genre” as important for this blog. The idea of “genre” comes from the classical (e.g. ancient Greek) writings about forms: namely, that there are different kinds of forms that serve different purposes. The word “genre” comes from the French for “kind.” Aristotle’s … Continue reading The Genre of Crime Discourse

Crime Clown Show Exits

In honor of the crime clown show leaving the White House today, let’s reminisce. I was recently listening to Ronan Farrow’s Catch and Kill podcast, episode 9, which discusses some of Trump’s campaign coverups of his affairs, including at least one child-with-hotel-staff coverup. In the episode, there is an audio clip of Trump talking about … Continue reading Crime Clown Show Exits

What is “true crime”?

This blog is going to explore “true / crime / discourse” by getting at all of the words in that sequence. Like any cultural (humanities) investigation, the very terms are always under interrogation. We’ll* need to define “discourse” separately to better understand what we’re even engaging with, but let’s first lay out some basic frameworks … Continue reading What is “true crime”?