Topics include, but are not limited to:
Defining and Conceptualising Murder:
– Legislative provisions for defining and punishing murder (including international law)
– Murder and the legal process (including defences and punishment)
– Cross-cultural perspectives
– Impact of historical and cultural change on the understanding of murder
– Philosophical perspectives – de Sade, Nietsche, Brady, etc.
– Religious conceptions of murder and death
– Penalties for murder – capital punishment vs. life imprisonment, whole life tariffs, ‘Right to Die’ and ‘Right to Life’, etc.
– Impact of race, gender, sexuality and class on the way murder is understood and punished
– Defences/justifications of murder
– Limits on the definition of murder: animals, mercy-killing, etc.
– Community responses to murder
Special Categories of Murder:
– War crimes and genocide
– School shootings, spree killing, thrill killing, mass murder, Craigslist murders
– Serial killers (including ‘Celebrity’ serial killers; serial killing as vocation or career choice)
– Family murders – matricide, patricide, filicide, infanticide
– Ideological murder: political assassinations, honour killing, martyrdom, freedom fighters, etc.
Murder and Psychology:
– Factors that lead people to commit murder
– Mental fitness of perpetrators– PTSD, psychopathy, schizophrenia, The M’Naghton Rule, etc.
– Copy-cat killing
– Grief/coming to terms with murder; healing community scars
Murder and Technology:
– Technologies that facilitate murder
– Technologies that facilitate the detection and punishment of murderers
– Forensic awareness and the ‘CSI effect’
Murder and the Media:
– Reporting/representing murder – factual accounts, fiction, and fact-based fiction
– Perpetrator vs. victim – narratological framing, empathy, and the creation of news agendas, etc.
– Murder as entertainment: documentaries/true crime, fiction/TV/film, snuff
– The aesthetics of murder
Economics of Murder:
– The cultural capital of murder
– Dark tourism, Ripperology, etc.
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