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

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

An Interview with an MFM Facebook Group Admin

I’ve talked a bit about the style and content of the popular true crime comedy podcast, My Favorite Murder, launched in 2016 by Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff (see here, here, and here). The show is a significant milestone in the true crime economy. It re-circulates stories already established as true crime morbid worthy, and … Continue reading An Interview with an MFM Facebook Group Admin

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

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?

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?