Prof. MM Umphrey Office hours:
207 Clark House Wednesday
x 8206 1:00-3:00 and by appt.
Law, Crime, and Culture
Crime and criminality are the sites where law most directly and forcefully intervenes in everyday life through ritual and spectacle, through the construction of boundaries that include or exclude certain kinds of behavior or types of individuals from the social polity, and through direct physical violence and the containment of bodies. Focusing mainly but not exclusively on the United States, this course will explore, both historically and theoretically, the ways in which crime and criminality have been imagined, enacted, and punished. Drawing heavily on the work of the philosopher and cultural theoriest Michel Foucault, we will explore the historical changes, continuities and contradictions visible in various imaginings of the relationship between the state, the criminal, and the public. We will consider the significance of shifting modes of punishment, from a spectacle of pain to the incarceration of behind the high walls of the penitentiary. We will also examine various theories of criminality and inquire into their cultural assumptions and consequences as they have gained and lost legitimacy over time. Who do we hold legally or morally responsible for criminal acts? Can criminal activity be explained as product of vice, or an imperfect body, or the social environment? How does popular culture encode various representations of criminality?
-three short analytic essays (25% each)
-in-class final (25%)
Books can be purchased at Amherst Books, 8 Main Street (at the far side of the town common); multiliths are available at the LJST office, 208 Clark House (x 2380).
Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish
Michel Foucault, I, Pierre Riviere . . .
Frank Norris, McTeague
David Garland, The Culture of Control
Honor Code: I maintain an honor code in all my classes. See accompanying handout.
Power and the Production of Criminals
Foucault, Discipline and Punish, part 1
Spierenberg, from The Spectacle of Suffering
Berman, “Rats, Pigs, and Statues on Trial”
Beccaria, from On Crime and Punishment
Hogarth, “The Rake’s Progress,” “The Harlot’s Progress,” “Industry and Idleness” (images)
Rush, “An Enquiry into Public Punishment”
Foucault, Discipline and Punish, part 2
The Birth of the Penitentiary
Foucault, Discipline and Punish, part 3
Beaumont and de Tocqueville
Foucault, Discipline and Punish , part 4, chapter 1
The Criminal as Object of Inquiry
Foucault, I, Pierre Riviere . . .
Foucault, “About the Concept of the Dangerous Individual”
Lombroso, “Crime and Inferior Organisms”
Status and Criminal Exemption
Waldren, from The Many Faces of Judge Lynch
Hartog, “The Right to Kill”
Without Sanctuary: Images of Lynchings (images)
Criminal Types, Criminal Surroundings
Buck v Bell
Herrnstein, “Criminogenic Traits”
Shaw, from The Natural History of a Delinquent Career
Rebel Without a Cause (film screening TBA)
Foucault, Discipline and Punish, part 4
Garland, The Culture of Control
Garland, “Punishment and Sensibilities”
Simon, “Race, the War on Crime, and Mass Imprisonment”
Conover, Newjack (excerpts)
Schauer, from Profiles, Probabilities, and Stereotypes
Harcourt, from Against Prediction
Lyon, “9/11, Synopticon, and Scopophilia: Watching and Being Watched”
Marx, “Varieties of Personal Information as Influences on Attitudes towards Surveillance”
ACLU v NSA