Posted May 15, 2020. To settle a pandemic-related financial crisis at UMass Dartmouth, law faculty are not receiving research compensation in summer 2020. I will be away from my desk, May 16 to August 15. Blog posts will be sparse, and I will not receive email. On the upside, summer 🌞! If you need to reach me, please send a message through the faculty assistants’ office (Ms. Cain and Ms. Rittenhouse). Stay thirsty.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

'Lights, Camera, Execution!': Political scientist Helen Knowles co-authors new book on capital punishment and popular culture

A new book by poli sci prof and legal researcher extraordinaire Dr. Helen Knowles, SUNY Oswego, has hit the shelf.  It explores the dark edge of the border where popular culture and criminal justice meet.  In this sense it is partly reminiscent of John D. Bessler's unsettling Death in the Dark: Midnight Executions in America (Northeastern 1997) (Amazon).  Supreme Court followers will remember Dr. Knowles for her landmark study of Justice Kennedy in The Tie Goes to Freedom (2009 & updated 2018) (Amazon).

In Lights!, Camera!, Execution!: Cinematic Portrayals of Capital Punishment (Lexington Books 2019) (Amazon), Knowles and co-authors Bruce E. Altschuler and Jaclyn Schildkraut explore the interplay of popular portrayal of the death penalty with the real thing, considering the implications of mass media for policy-making when, literally, lives are on the line.  Here is the publisher's abstract:
 
Lights, Camera, Execution!: Cinematic Portrayals of Capital Punishment fills a prominent void in the existing film studies and death penalty literature. Each chapter focuses on a particular cinematic portrayal of the death penalty in the United States. Some of the analyzed films are well-known Hollywood blockbusters, such as Dead Man Walking (1995); others are more obscure, such as the made-for-television movie Murder in Coweta County (1983). By contrasting different portrayals where appropriate and identifying themes common to many of the studied films – such as the concept of dignity and the role of race (and racial discrimination) – the volume strengthens the reader’s ability to engage in comparative analysis of topics, stories, and cinematic techniques.Written by three professors with extensive experience teaching, and writing about the death penalty, film studies, and criminal justice, Lights, Camera, Execution! is deliberately designed for both classroom use and general readership.

No comments:

Post a Comment