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

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

Why is the spy trade so white and male? (and RIP John Le Carre)

Why is the spy genre -- in nonfiction history and journalism as well as in fiction -- so male and so white? I found myself wondering this recently while reading Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of Corporate Espionage (2010, Harper Collins), by Eamon Javers. It’s a good book: generally well researched and well … Continue reading Why is the spy trade so white and male? (and RIP John Le Carre)

Disclosure: Why am I writing about this topic?

Why am I writing about this topic? I recently completed a PhD in literary studies, and nearing the end of that long research and writing project, I came across what I have come to call “tropes of white womanhood” that were circulated within and between European and North American societies (my focus was mainly on … Continue reading Disclosure: Why am I writing about this topic?

What happens when a Spy Thriller, a Police Procedural, the Sci-Fi genre, and Conspiracy Theories Intersect?

So, I was going to post this thought/observation about scifi and postmodern crime fiction, and what they might tell us about our real world political and social structures and processes, but given the attempted fascist coup yesterday that culminated in a terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol building, I decided I need to post this … Continue reading What happens when a Spy Thriller, a Police Procedural, the Sci-Fi genre, and Conspiracy Theories Intersect?