Monsters, Law, Crime, an edited collection composed of essays written by prominent U.S. and international experts in Law, Criminology, Sociology, Anthropology, Communication and Film, constitutes a rigorous attempt to explore fertile interdisciplinary inquiries into “monsters” and “monster-talk,” and law and crime. This edited collection explores and updates contemporary discussions of the emergent and evolving frontiers of monster theory in relation to cutting-edge research on law and crime as extensions of a Gothic Criminology. This theoretical framework was initially developed by Caroline Joan “Kay” S. Picart, a Philosophy and Film professor turned Attorney and Law professor, and Cecil Greek, a Sociologist (Picart and Greek 2008). Picart and Greek proposed a Gothic Criminology to analyze the fertile synapses connecting the “real” and the “reel” in the flow of Gothic metaphors and narratives that abound around criminological phenomena that populate not only popular culture but also academic and public policy discourses. Picart's edited collection adapts the framework to focus predominantly on law and the social sciences.
Caroline Joan ‘Kay’ S. Picart is Attorney at Law practicing in criminal and family law and is Adjunct Professor of Law at Florida A & M University, Orlando, Florida.
Introduction: Explorations in Gothic Criminology: Ruminating on Monsters, Law, and Crime — Caroline “Kay” Joan S. Picart
I. Of Myths and Monsters
Chapter One: “Deeds of Treachery and Violence and Lust and Cruelty”: Revisiting Freud’s Primal Crimes in Aboriginal Central Australia — John Morton
Chapter Two: Criminal Anthropology, Fabulism, and Criminology’s Unacknowledged Teratological Lineage — Jon Frauley
Chapter Three: Vampire Fictions and the Conflation of Violent Criminality with Real Vampirism: A Practical Overview — John Edgar Browning and DJ Williams
II. Contagion, Monstrosity, Ethics
Chapter Four: A Double-Tap “Lilith Moral Panic” in Israel, 2014: How Labeling Others as “Monsters” Conceals Their Victimization — Orit Kamir
Chapter Five: Evil-By-Proxy and Everyday Monsters: Towards a Moral Sociology for Overcoming the Passive Observation of Evil —Michael Hviid Jacobsen
Chapter Six: Monstering Madness: Criminal Lunatics in Broadmoor 1863–1913— Lucy Williams, Sandra Walklate, and Barry Godfrey
III. Monsters in Reel/Real Life
Chapter Seven: The Purge, or Law of the Universal Monstrous — Matthew Sorrento
Chapter Eight: Contrasting Depictions of Medical Serial Killers; Doctors Pétiot and Shipman from the Manic to the Mundane — Steve Greenfield
Chapter Nine: The Redactasaurus Chronicles: Fear, Consumption and Graffiti in Capital City — Deborah Landry
IV. Law, War and Monstrous Discourses
Chapter Ten: Human Trafficking, Empathy for Victims, the Tool of Eradication —David “D.W.” Duke
Chapter Eleven: Visualizing Monsters and Just Wars in Legal and Public Analyses of Eastwood’s American Sniper — Marouf Hasian Jr.
Chapter Twelve: Monstrous Discourses, Jihadi Cool, and Emergent Counter-Terrorist Narratives: The Case of Ahmad Khan Rahami (a.k.a. Ahmad Rahimi) and the 2016 New York/New Jersey Bombings — Caroline Joan “Kay” S. Picart
Postscript: Gothic Criminology’s Evolving Frontiers — Cecil Greek
Law and popular culture theorists study the relationship of real life phenomena and the media of popular culture. One of the intersections explores how pop culture often reflects (“mirrors”) what people in general think and believe. Of course, the mirror is always distorted by the biases of the filmmaker as well as the need to produce entertainment that can turn a profit. This book illustrates how people’s fear of “monsters,” whether terrorists, serial killers, or human traffickers, is exploited by and reflected in pop culture. It furnishes provocative and insightful examples of the monster phenomenon and will be a useful resource for students of this emerging body of theory.
In this pathbreaking collection, editor Picart presents an assemblage of novel essays that examine the social construction and social meaning of "monsters" from a truly interdisciplinary perspective. These essays bring new insight to law, crime and justice using what Picart calls a "Gothic Criminological Framework" (initially developed with Greek, a sociologist). This framework, as applied here, grounds the analysis of monsters and the monstrous in a sound theoretical foundation. This can be seen in many ways, not least in how the use of "monster-talk" elevates the discourse of "othering" to a new level. Focusing on the social construction of crime through the lens of monsters, real-life and make-believe, this collection expands the boundaries of Law, Criminology, Media Studies and Cultural Studies.
As fascism ascends, the dead accumulate and planetary crisis looms, a new, harrowing world struggles to be born. If this then, is the time of monsters, Picart’s Monsters, Law, Crime is an indispensable resource for troubled times.