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

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

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

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?

Just a tidbit I came across: data analysis of crime TV dramas indicates that fictional victims are overwhelmingly white women

U.S. Television’s “Mean World” for White Women: The Portrayal of Gender and Race on Fictional Crime Dramas, July 2015, Sex Roles 73(1):70-82. Authors: Scott Parrott and Caroline Titcomb Parrott From the research abstract: A quantitative content analysis examined gender and racial stereotypes concerning victim and offender status in fictional crime-based dramas from the 2010–2013 seasons … Continue reading Just a tidbit I came across: data analysis of crime TV dramas indicates that fictional victims are overwhelmingly white women

The ‘gateway body’ and crime narratives: trafficking in white feminism

When reading Tanya Horeck’s Justice on Demand earlier this year, a reference to something called “the gateway body” caught my interest. Horeck’s book, which I reviewed here, is a media-studies look at true crime in the current post-tv, serialized and digitally-networked era. One chapter in that book focuses on the way popular true crime series, … Continue reading The ‘gateway body’ and crime narratives: trafficking in white feminism

How important is DNA collection after all? A look at Sameena Mulla’s ‘Violence of Care’

Earlier this month I posted a reading list that I’ve been working on, which included Sameena Mulla’s The Violence of Care. I want to focus on one particular chapter from that book that really resonated with some other things I’ve been reading and re-watching, namely the Netflix mini-series Unbelievable and the nonfiction reporting the series … Continue reading How important is DNA collection after all? A look at Sameena Mulla’s ‘Violence of Care’

Who is the “Lady Detective” on the cover art?

It’s time to talk about the image I use here on my blog and on my Twitter profile: the book cover for Revelations of a Lady Detective. And, by the way, happy International Women's Day! According to Dagni A. Breseden, professor of Victorian Literature at Eastern Illinois University, there is an unsettled debate about which … Continue reading Who is the “Lady Detective” on the cover art?