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’

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

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

Book Review: ‘Justice on Demand: True Crime in the Digital Streaming Era,’ by Tanya Horeck

I want to point to a fascinating and thoroughly researched study of true crime media. Tanya Horeck’s Justice on Demand: True Crime in the Digital Streaming Era (2019) takes a media studies approach to examining the current trends in popular digital media platforms that use the true crime genre as a framing or delivery device … Continue reading Book Review: ‘Justice on Demand: True Crime in the Digital Streaming Era,’ by Tanya Horeck

San Francisco’s “Green Glove Rapist” and the case of the missing narrative

Let’s get this out of the way: the mystery of this case is not that it is unsolved. It is, in fact, a “solved” case. Joseph Finkel was identified by multiple witnesses and convicted by a jury on January 29, 1944, on multiple charges of rape, attempted rape, assault, and burglary.  The San Francisco Examiner … Continue reading San Francisco’s “Green Glove Rapist” and the case of the missing narrative