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

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’

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

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

Making an Appeal: The Marshall Project

If you watched Netflix’s Unbelievable, or read the non-fiction book, A False Report, then you’ve already encountered the work of The Marshall Project. Named for the civil rights lawyer and first African American to serve on the United States Supreme Court, The Marshall Project works “to elevate the criminal justice issue to one of national … Continue reading Making an Appeal: The Marshall Project

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

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”

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’

What I’m Reading: March Update

I did pretty well with getting through my handful of books I was trying to read earlier this month.  I think posting my reading list actually helped me get through reading more efficiently. So here is another mini reading list for books I'm working on: The Evidence of Things Unseen, by James Baldwin I've recently … Continue reading What I’m Reading: March Update