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The Spectacle of Death by Kristin Boudreau

Title The Spectacle of Death
Author Kristin Boudreau
Publisher
Release 2006
Category Law
Total Pages 292
ISBN
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

In 1787, Benjamin Rush cautioned that public punishments were dangerous to the social and legal authority of the new nation. For Rush, irrepressible human sentiments all but guaranteed that public punishments would turn spectators against the institutions responsible for the punishments. Although public executions of criminals ended early in the 19th century, debate over the morality of capital punishment has continued to this day. In this unique and fascinating glimpse into public reactions to prominent executions, from colonial times to the 1990s, Kristin Boudreau focuses on the central role of populist, often ephemeral literary forms in shaping attitudes toward capital punishment. Surveying popular poems, ballads, plays, and novels, she shows that, at key times of social unrest in American history, many Americans have felt excluded by the political and legal processes, and have turned instead to inexpensive literary forms of expression in an attempt to change the course of history. Among the significant capital cases that the author discusses are: the Haymarket anarchist trial of 1886; the lynching of Leo Frank in 1914; the murder of Emmett Till in 1955 and its effects on the Civil Rights movement; Norman Mailer's treatment of the Gary Gilmore case in the 1979 novel, The Executioner's Song; and the 1998 execution of Karla Faye Tucker, a convicted murderer who became a born-again Christian on death row. In the concluding chapter, Boudreau examines contemporary writers, musicians, actors, and other artists who are using their artistic media to influence official policies of states that permit capital punishment. By examining these neglected texts, Boudreau brings to light a compelling story about ordinary Americans fighting an entrenched legal system at times of great national crisis.

Against the Gallows by Paul Christian Jones

Title Against the Gallows
Author Paul Christian Jones
Publisher University of Iowa Press
Release 2011-08-25
Category Literary Criticism
Total Pages 230
ISBN 1609380495
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

In Against the Gallows, Paul Christian Jones explores the intriguing cooperation of America’s writers—including major figures such as Walt Whitman, John Greenleaf Whittier, E. D. E. N. Southworth, and Herman Melville—with reformers, politicians, clergymen, and periodical editors who attempted to end the practice of capital punishment in the United States during the 1840s and 1850s. In an age of passionate reform efforts, the antigallows movement enjoyed broad popularity, waging its campaign in legislatures, pulpits, newspapers, and literary journals. Although it failed in its ultimate goal of ending hangings across the United States, the movement did achieve various improvements in the practices of the justice system, including reducing the number of capital crimes, eliminating public executions in most northern states, and abolishing capital punishment completely in three states. Although a few historians have studied the antebellum movement against capital punishment, until now very little attention has been paid to the role of America’s writers in these efforts. Jones’s study recovers the relationship between the nation’s literary figures and the movement against the death penalty, illustrating that the editors of literary journals actively encouraged and published antigallows writing, that popular crime novelists created a sympathy toward criminals that led readers to question the state’s justifications for capital punishment, that poets crafted verse that advocated strongly for Christian sympathy for criminals that coincided with an antipathy to the death penalty, and that female sentimental writers fashioned melodramatic narratives that illustrated the injustice of the hanging and reimagined the justice system itself as a sympathetic subject capable of incorporating compassion into its workings and seeing reform rather than revenge as its ends.

Demands of the Dead by Katy Ryan

Title Demands of the Dead
Author Katy Ryan
Publisher University of Iowa Press
Release 2012-04-15
Category Literary Criticism
Total Pages 315
ISBN 1609380886
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This collection by death-row prisoners, playwrights, poets, activists, and literary scholars provides literary perspectives on the subject of the death penalty.

Prisons and Punishment in Texas by Hannah Thurston

Title Prisons and Punishment in Texas
Author Hannah Thurston
Publisher Springer
Release 2016-06-20
Category Social Science
Total Pages 249
ISBN 1137533080
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This book explores the identity of Texas as a state with a large and severe penal system. It does so by assessing the narratives at work in Texas museums and tourist sites associated with prisons and punishment. In such cultural institutions, complex narratives are presented, which show celebratory stories of Texan toughness in the penal sphere, as well as poignant stories about the witnessing of executions, comical stories that normalize the harsher aspects of Texan punishment, and presentations about prison officers who have lost their lives in the war on crime. In analysing these representations, the book shows that Texan history plays an important role in the production of Texan self-identity, and that to understand the Texan commitment to harsh punishment we must be prepared to focus on Texan myths and memories. Prisons and Punishment in Texas draws on diverse interdisciplinary work, including criminology, cultural studies about Southern values, as well as research on cultural memory and dark tourism. Museums are shown to be under-researched sites of criminological significance, which offer rich evidence through which penal imaginaries and the cultural role of punishment can be explored. The book will be of great interest to criminologists as well as scholars of sociology, cultural studies, museum studies and politics.

Literary Executions by John Cyril Barton

Title Literary Executions
Author John Cyril Barton
Publisher Johns Hopkins University Press+ORM
Release 2014-07-17
Category Literary Criticism
Total Pages 345
ISBN 1421413337
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

“Rich with historical detail . . . examines the figure and theme of the death penalty in imaginative literature from Cooper to Dreiser.” —Gregg Crane, Professor of English Language and Literature, University of Michigan Drawing from legal and extralegal discourse but focusing on imaginative literature, Literary Executions examines representations of, responses to, and arguments for and against the death penalty in the United States over the long nineteenth century. John Cyril Barton creates a generative dialogue between artistic relics and legal history. He looks to novels, short stories, poems, and creative nonfiction as well as legislative reports, trial transcripts, legal documents, newspaper and journal articles, treatises, and popular books (like The Record of Crimes, A Defence of Capital Punishment, and The Gallows, the Prison, and the Poor House), all of which were part of the debate over the death penalty. Barton focuses on several canonical figures—James Fenimore Cooper, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Lydia Maria Child, Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, and Theodore Dreiser—and offers new readings of their work in light of the death penalty controversy. Barton also gives close attention to a host of then-popular-but-now-forgotten writers—particularly John Neal, Slidell MacKenzie, William Gilmore Simms, Sylvester Judd, and George Lippard—whose work helped shape or was shaped by the influential anti-gallows movement. By engaging the politics and poetics of capital punishment, Literary Executions contends that the movement to abolish the death penalty in the United States should be seen as an important part of the context that brought about the flowering of the American Renaissance during the antebellum period and that influenced literature later in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries

Title The Oxford Handbook of Nineteenth Century American Literature
Author Russ Castronovo
Publisher Oxford University Press
Release 2014-02
Category History
Total Pages 443
ISBN 0199355894
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The Oxford Handbook of Nineteenth-Century American Literature will offer a cutting-edge assessment of the period's literature, offering readers practical insights and proactive strategies for exploring novels, poems, and other literary creations.

Title The Routledge Research Companion to Law and Humanities in Nineteenth Century America
Author Nan Goodman
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Release 2017-05-12
Category Literary Criticism
Total Pages 372
ISBN 1317042972
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Nineteenth-century America witnessed some of the most important and fruitful areas of intersection between the law and humanities, as people began to realize that the law, formerly confined to courts and lawyers, might also find expression in a variety of ostensibly non-legal areas such as painting, poetry, fiction, and sculpture. Bringing together leading researchers from law schools and humanities departments, this Companion touches on regulatory, statutory, and common law in nineteenth-century America and encompasses judges, lawyers, legislators, litigants, and the institutions they inhabited (courts, firms, prisons). It will serve as a reference for specific information on a variety of law- and humanities-related topics as well as a guide to understanding how the two disciplines developed in tandem in the long nineteenth century.

Reading Prisoners by Jodi Schorb

Title Reading Prisoners
Author Jodi Schorb
Publisher Rutgers University Press
Release 2014-10-30
Category Social Science
Total Pages 268
ISBN 0813562686
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Shining new light on early American prison literature—from its origins in last words, dying warnings, and gallows literature to its later works of autobiography, exposé, and imaginative literature—Reading Prisoners weaves together insights about the rise of the early American penitentiary, the history of early American literacy instruction, and the transformation of crime writing in the “long” eighteenth century. Looking first at colonial America—an era often said to devalue jailhouse literacy—Jodi Schorb reveals that in fact this era launched the literate prisoner into public prominence. Criminal confessions published between 1700 and 1740, she shows, were crucial “literacy events” that sparked widespread public fascination with the reading habits of the condemned, consistent with the evangelical revivalism that culminated in the first Great Awakening. By century’s end, narratives by condemned criminals helped an audience of new writers navigate the perils and promises of expanded literacy. Schorb takes us off the scaffold and inside the private world of the first penitentiaries—such as Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Prison and New York’s Newgate, Auburn, and Sing Sing. She unveils the long and contentious struggle over the value of prisoner education that ultimately led to sporadic efforts to supply prisoners with books and education. Indeed, a new philosophy emerged, one that argued that prisoners were best served by silence and hard labor, not by reading and writing—a stance that a new generation of convict authors vociferously protested. The staggering rise of mass incarceration in America since the 1970s has brought the issue of prisoner rehabilitation once again to the fore. Reading Prisoners offers vital background to the ongoing, crucial debates over the benefits of prisoner education.

Feminist Perspectives on Orange Is the New Black by April Kalogeropoulos Householder

Title Feminist Perspectives on Orange Is the New Black
Author April Kalogeropoulos Householder
Publisher McFarland
Release 2016-07-22
Category Performing Arts
Total Pages 230
ISBN 1476663920
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"Finally, an anthology that brings together a useful selection of essays on Orange is the New Black...Netflix's most watched series. Authors pay close critical attention to the show's diverse assemblage of characters, focusing on its production of gender, politics, and intersectional identities. Scholars, teachers, and fans of the show will welcome this book’s timely contribution to discussions of one of the most-talked television shows in years."--Dana Heller, Old Dominion University, author of Loving The L Word "A timely critique of the popular Netflix series, this volume explores the nexus of race, class, gender and sexuality as both a site of resistance to and reification of oppressive stereotypes, brilliantly illustrating the myriad ways in which the show simultaneously creates and contests hegemonic discourse through its diverse characters and compelling storylines."--Joanne Gilbert, Alma College "Just when you thought queer representations had become as predictably normative as an episode of Modern Family, along comes Orange is the New Black, a break-out hit for Netflix and an exciting, whirling mess of a series that raises crucial questions about gender, race, class, and sexuality. This wonderful new collection of critical essays plumbs the depths of OINTB, and offers up trenchant analyses that will be of great interest to scholars and students of popular culture, feminist and queer studies, and everyday fans who just can’t get enough of these outside-the-box characters."--Suzanna Walters, Editor-in-Chief, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Since its 2013 premiere, Orange Is the New Black has become Netflix’s most watched series, garnering critical praise and numerous awards and advancing the cultural phenomenon of binge-watching. Academic conferences now routinely feature panels discussing the show, and the book on which it is based is popular course material at many universities. Yet little work has been published on OINTB. The series has sparked debate: does it celebrate diversity or is it told from the perspective of white privilege, with characters embodying some of the most racist and sexist stereotypes in television history? This collection of new essays is the first to analyze the show’s multiple layers of meaning. Examining Orange Is the New Black from a number of feminist perspectives, the contributors cover topics such as gender, race, class, sexuality, transgenderism, mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex, disability, and sexual assault.

Radical Sensations by Shelley Streeby

Title Radical Sensations
Author Shelley Streeby
Publisher Duke University Press
Release 2013-02-01
Category History
Total Pages 352
ISBN 0822395541
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The significant anarchist, black, and socialist world-movements that emerged in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth adapted discourses of sentiment and sensation and used the era's new forms of visual culture to move people to participate in projects of social, political, and economic transformation. Drawing attention to the vast archive of images and texts created by radicals prior to the 1930s, Shelley Streeby analyzes representations of violence and of abuses of state power in response to the Haymarket police riot, of the trial and execution of the Chicago anarchists, and of the mistreatment and imprisonment of Ricardo and Enrique Flores Magón and other members of the Partido Liberal Mexicano. She considers radicals' reactions to and depictions of U.S. imperialism, state violence against the Yaqui Indians in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, the failure of the United States to enact laws against lynching, and the harsh repression of radicals that accelerated after the United States entered the First World War. By focusing on the adaptation and critique of sentiment, sensation, and visual culture by radical world-movements in the period between the Haymarket riots of 1886 and the deportation of Marcus Garvey in 1927, Streeby sheds new light on the ways that these movements reached across national boundaries, criticized state power, and envisioned alternative worlds.