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Framing Law and Crime

An Interdisciplinary Anthology

Edited by Caroline Joan "Kay" S. Picart; Michael Hviid Jacobsen and Cecil Greek - Contributions by Stefan Machura; Majid Yar; Susan Boyd; Carrie Menkel-Meadow; Orit Kamir; Peter Robson; Mathieu Deflem; John Denvir; Matthew Sorrento; Naomi Mezey; Mark C. Niles; Farah Britto; Anders Petersen; Jon Frauley and Steve Greenfield

This cutting-edge edited collection brings together 17 scholarly essays on two of cinema and television’s most enduring and powerful themes: law and crime. With contributions by many of the most prominent scholars in law, sociology, criminology, and film, Framing Law and Crime offers a critical survey of a variety of genres and media, integrating descriptions of technique with critical analysis, and incorporating historical and socio-political critique. The first set of essays brings together accounts of the history of the Law and Cinema Movement; the groundbreaking genre of “post-apocalyptic fiction;” and the policy-setting genesis of a Canadian documentary. The second section of the book turns to the examination of a range of international or global films, with an eye to assessing the strengths, frailties, and possible functions of law, as depicted in fictional cinema. After an international focus in the second section, the third section focuses on law and crime in American film and television, inclusive of both fictional and documentary modes of narration. This section’s expansion beyond film narratives to include television series attempts to broaden the scope of the edited collection, in terms of media discussed; it is also a nod to how the big screen, although still a dominant force in American popular culture, now has to compete, to some extent, with the small screen, for influence over the collective American popular cultural imaginary. The fourth section, titled brings together various chapters that attempt to instantiate how a “Gothic Criminology” could be useful, as an interpretative framework in analyzing depictions of law and crime in film and television. The fifth and final section covers issues of pedagogy, epistemology, and ethics in relation to moving images of law and crime. Merging wide-ranging analyses with nuanced scholarly interpretations, Framing Law and Crime examines key concepts and showcases original research reflecting the latest interdisciplinary trends in the scholarship of the moving image. It addresses, not only scholars, but also fans, and will heighten the appreciation of connoisseurs and newcomers to these topics alike. « less more »
University Press Copublishing Division / Fairleigh Dickinson University Press
Pages: 496Size: 6 x 9
978-1-61147-705-4 • Hardback • April 2016 • $105.00 • (£70.00)
978-1-61147-706-1 • eBook • April 2016 • $99.00 • (£65.00)

Caroline Joan "Kay" S. Picart is a scholar and attorney at law practicing in federal and state appellate criminal law, and publishes peer reviewed journal articles and books principally on law, criminology, sociology, and film.

Michael Hviid Jacobsen is professor of sociology in the Department of Sociology and Social Work, Aalborg University.
Cecil Greek is associate professor of sociology at the University of South Florida.


Introduction: Framing Law and Crime: An Experiment in Interdisciplinary Commensurability
Caroline Joan (Kay) S. Picart, Michael Hviid Jacobsen, and Cecil Greek

Part I: Cinematic Histories and Real/Reel Dystopias of Law and Crime

Chapter 1: Law and Cinema Movement
Stefan Machura, Bangor University, Criminology and Criminal Justice

Chapter 2: The Crisis of Law and the Imaginary of Disaster: Reading Post-Apocalyptic Films
Majid Yar, Independent Scholar, Sociology

Chapter 3: A Canadian Perspective on Documentary Film: Drug Addict
Susan Boyd, University of Victoria, Canada, Studies in Policies and Practice Program

Part II: Jurisprudence in International Films

Chapter 4: In the Land of Blood and Honey: What’s Fair or Just in Love and War Crimes? Lessons for Transitional Justice.
Carrie Menkel-Meadow, University of California-Irvine, Law

Chapter 5: Multifocal Judgment, Intersecting Legal Proceedings and Conservativism: A Separation and Rashomon.
Orit Kamir, The Center for Human Dignity, Israel, Law

Chapter 6: Beyond the Courtroom—Vigilantism, Revenge, and Rape-Revenge Films in the Cinema of Justice.
Peter Robson, University of Strathclyde, Law

Part III: Law and Crime in American Film and Television

Chapter 7: Alfred Hitchcock—Visions of Guilt and Innocence
Mathieu Deflem, University of South Carolina, Sociology

Chapter 8: Heroes for Hard Times: The Wire’s ‘Good Police’
John Denvir, University of San Francisco School of Law, Law

Chapter 9: Documenting Crime: Genre, Verity, and Filmmaker as Avenger
Matthew Sorrento, Rutgers University, Film and Journalism

Chapter 10: Screening the Law: Ideology and Law in American Popular Culture
Naomi Mezey, Georgetown University, Law and Mark C. Niles, American University, Law

Part IV: Film, Crime, and the Social World

Chapter 11:Race and Serial Killing in the Media: The Case of Wayne Williams
Caroline Joan (Kay) S. Picart, Tim Bower Rodriguez, P.A., Attorney at Law

Chapter 12. Globalization and the Rise of the Behemoth: A Study in Gothic Criminology
Cecil Greek, University of South Florida, Sociology

Chapter 13: A Depiction of Evil, Order and Chaos: The Symbiotic Relationship of Law and the Supernatural in Film and Television
Farah Britto, University of South Florida, Anthropology, and Cecil Greek, University of South Florida, Sociology

Chapter 14: From Reel to Real - Conducting Filmic Ethnography in Criminology
Michael Hviid Jacobsen, Aalborg University, Sociology and Anders Petersen, Aalborg University, Sociology.

Part V: Epistemology and Ethics in Films of Law and Crime

Chapter 15. Fact, Fantasy, Fallacy: Division Between Fanciful Musings and Factual Mutterings
Jon Frauley, University of Ottawa, Criminology

Chapter 16: Tobias Beecher: Law as a Refuge from Uncertainty?
Steve Greenfield, University of Westminster, Law

Chapter 17: Nationalities, Histories, Rhetorics: Real/Reel Representations of the Holocaust and Holocaust Trials and a Poethics of Film and Law
Caroline Joan (Kay) S. Picart, Tim Bower Rodriguez, P.A., Attorney at Law
This edited collection is a truly remarkable interdisciplinary anthology. It is an admirable example of the possibilities inherent in holding meaningful conversations between the different disciplines making claims on the phenomenon of crime. Taken together the contributions in this volume lay down ethical, epistemological and empirical challenges to those who claim to see and know the world as if such seeing and knowing was rooted in facts separable from fiction. In this book all ‘data’ have something to say about the world and its power relations if we have a loose enough imagination to listen. In particular, Framing the Law and Crime offers a notable and hugely valuable advancement on what has become known as ‘cultural criminology’ providing a stimulating intervention in, and important development of, that agenda. It is an essential, cutting edge read for any social scientist endeavouring to understand the social world and the possibilities for making sense of it.
Sandra Walklate, Eleanor Rathbone Chair of Sociology, University of Liverpool, England, U.K. and Professor of Criminology, Monash University, Australia; Editor in Chief, British Journal of Criminology

The study of the interface between law and the media of popular culture now spans numerous academic disciplines and is practiced everywhere in the world. Framing Law and Crime: An Interdisciplinary Anthology is a welcome addition to the literature on this subject. Some of the authors of the provocative essays in this volume are law professors but others come from criminology, sociology, psychology, and other disciplines. All of the entries concern visual media and the criminal law process, but in vastly different ways. They offer the reader insights on such diverse subjects as Baltimore policemen, survival in prison, rape revenge, serial killers, the Bosnian tragedy, and washed-up lawyers as well as profound analyses of film theory, epistemology, and criminology. Everyone with a professional or personal interest in popular culture and its relationship to law will benefit from reading these essays.
Michael Asimow, Visiting Professor of Law, Stanford Law School; Professor of Law Emeritus, UCLA School of Law; co-author of Law and Popular Culture: A Course Book; Reel Justice: The Courtroom Goes to the Movies; and Lawyers in Your Living Room! Law on Television.