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Crimcast is a virtual resource devoted to critical conversations about criminology and criminal justice issues. Our blogposts, twitter feeds, podcasts and other content provide an overview of trends, research, commentary and events of interest to criminal justice practitioners, academics and the general public. CrimCast is sponsored by The Center for Crime and Popular Culture, St. Francis College, Brooklyn, NY.

Filtering by Tag: television

Orange is the New Black and New Perspectives on the Women in Prison Genre, Call for Papers

Nickie Phillips

Call for Papers

Friday 5 June 2015

Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland

Keynote Speaker: Professor Diane Negra (University College Dublin)

We would like to invite proposals for papers for a one-day conference framed around discussions of the Netflix original series Orange is the New Black (2013-). The series has received a great deal of critical media attention, particularly surrounding its representation of sexualities and women of colour. The series is the most recent in a sequence of TV programmes and feature films exploring women’s incarceration in a popular format. Considered as part of the ‘women in prison’ genre, the show upholds certain stereotypes while simultaneously using the genre framework to explore new territory. This conference aims to open up scholarly debates surrounding OITNB and to further contextualise it alongside other representations of women in prison from a multidisciplinary range of perspectives. We also welcome contributions from creative practitioners on their engagement with the ‘women in prison’ genre.

Contributors are invited to address OITNB in relation to issues around the representation of women’s experience with imprisonment in any geographical location, in both historical and contemporary contexts. Some of the questions this conference wishes to address are: what defines the ‘women in prison’ genre and how has it changed historically? What effects does it have on specific groups of (incarcerated) women and public audiences? How do new modes of circulation impact on audience reception of the ‘women in prison’ genre?

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

·         OITNB and genre

·         OITNB and questions of adaptation

·         Comparative analyses with other ‘women in prison’ series or feature films

·         Gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality and age in OITNB

·         OITNB and questions of ‘the gaze’

·         OITNB in relation to ‘real world’ criminal justice settings

300 word abstracts should be sent to: by midnight on 16 January 2015.

For further inquiries please contact the conference organisers:

Dr Sarah Artt and Dr Anne Schwan

David Simon to Appear at John Jay College, NYC - February 4, 2013

Nickie Phillips

The Wire David Simon: Executive Producer, Creator, Writer

David Simon is scheduled to appear at John Jay College of Criminal Justice on February 4, 2013 at the John Jay Journalism Prize Dinner.

We are pleased to honor David Simon, the creator of the television series, The Wire, and former Baltimore Sun reporter at the annual John Jay/Harry Frank Guggenheim Awards for Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting.

Go here for more details.

You can find Simon's blog, and his post on the shooting in Newtown, CT here.

MTV Settles Lawsuit Alleging Rape by Real World Cast Member

Nickie Phillips

Jezebel reports on the lawsuit settlement here.

"The main legal issue for Cooley was that she was suing for sexual harassment and wrongful termination, but the extensive waiver she signed with the production company not only says that cast members are not official employees, but that they might have to deal with "non-consensual physical contact, of which MTV is not responsible," which means that they could get raped on camera and MTV wouldn't be at fault."

The Village Voice published the "Real World" standard cast member contract here.

Teaching The Wire

Nickie Phillips

The September 2012 issue of Journal of Criminal Justice Education features an article by Ralph Taylor and Jillian Eidson on integrating The Wire into criminology courses. The article includes sample writing assignments and student reactions to the material. 

The abstract:

“A challenge in any undergraduate communities and crime course is helping students understand how macro-level context affects the lives of individuals. This article describes one approach based on three characters in Season 2 (“The Port”) of “The Wire.” A multi-layered framework is outlined which prominently features William Julius Wilson's unemployment thesis. Data sources for illustrating how different parts of the model apply to the surrounding region and neighborhoods close to the port are noted. The narrative arcs for three central characters in Season 2 are described and each is connected to Wilson's thesis. Even though in-class screening time was limited, students' written work and questionnaire responses suggested that the material clarified key concepts. The approach described here is just one approach of the many which are feasible for a macro-level communities and crime course, or for integrating “The Wire” into criminal justice or criminology courses.”

For more about teaching The Wire, check out our podcast, “All the Pieces Matter: Teaching The Wire to Criminology Students” featuring Vik Gumbhir here.

Taylor and Eidson's article, “The Wire,” William Julius Wilson, and the Three Sobotkas: Conceptually Integrating ‘Season 2: The Port’ into a Macro-Level Undergraduate Communities and Crime Course.” can be found here.

Flexing Your Rights on The Good Wife

Nickie Phillips

Flex Your Rights hosts a website that provides information to the public about the protection of civil liberties. For several years, I've used Flex Your Rights' "10 Rules for Dealing with Police" and "Busted!" DVDs as teaching tools for illustrating ways to protect one's constitutional rights during police encounters. They are superb. The videos cover car stops, stop & frisks, and home searches. You can purchase the DVDs here.

This week, Flex Your Rights notes that the season premiere of The Good Wife is inspired by a real-life traffic stop and search (a federal lawsuit regarding the officers' records of past stops is pending).

The video clip of the stop that inspired the show, Breakfast in Collinsville, is posted on YouTube:

10 Rules for Dealing With Police

"The gist: On December 4th 2011, StarTrek fans Terrance Huff and Jon Seaton are stopped illegally after a StarTrek Exhibition for suspected drug transportation in Collinsville, Illinois. Award winning filmmaker Terrance Huff does a breakdown of an illegal traffic stop and subsequent search involving a K9 Officer who has a questionable past."

For more, about Flex Your Rights and The Good Wife, go here.

Meth and Breaking Bad

Nickie Phillips

Go here for chemistry Professor Donna Nelson's take on serving as a consultant on Breaking Bad. Go here for a take on Breaking Bad's portrayal of the the international drug market.

"What they got right was showing how meth is a very American-style small business, not a vast conspiracy that easily shifts to new markets."

Update: More on Breaking Bad

"All the Pieces Matter:" Teaching The Wire to Criminology Students

Nickie Phillips

Vikas Gumbhir, Associate Professor at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, speaks to us about using the David Simon-created HBO hit TV series The Wire as a criminological teaching tool.

Alvarez, R. (2004). The Wire: Truth be told. New York, NY: Pocket Books.

Anderson, E. (1994). The code of the street. The Atlantic Monthly.

Moskos, P. (2008). Cop in the hood: My year policing Baltimore's Eastern District. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Reiman, J. & P. Leighton (2009).  The rich get richer and the poor get prison [9th ed.].  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Simon, D. (1992). Homicide: A year on the killing streets.  New York, NY: MacMillan.

Venkatesh, S.A. (2002). American project: The rise and fall of the modern ghetto.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Wilson, W.J. (1997).  When work disappears: The world of the new urban poor.  New York, NY: Vintage Books.