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The Criminal Humanities

An Introduction


Edited By Mike Arntfield and Marcel Danesi

This groundbreaking anthology examines the phenomenon of crime and our historical understanding – and misunderstanding – of the criminal mind through the lens of the humanities, unpacking foundational concepts in criminology and criminal investigative analysis through disciplines such as the visual arts, cultural studies, religious studies, and comparative literature. Edited by two key figures in this burgeoning field who are also pre-eminent experts in both forensic semiotics and literary criminology, this book breathes new life into the humanities disciplines by using them as a collective locus for the study of everything from serial homicide, sexual disorders, and police recruiting and corruption to the epistemology of criminal insanity. Using a multidisciplinary framework that traverses myriad pedagogies and invokes a number of methodologies, this anthology boasts chapters written by some of the world’s key scholars working at the crossroads of crime, media, and culture as broadly defined.
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List of Contributors


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Michael Arntfield is associate professor in the Department of English and Writing Studies at Western University where he specializes in literary criminology and forensic writing. He is also a previous visiting Fulbright Chair at Vanderbilt University specializing in law and literature, is a fellow with the Centre for Research in Forensic Semiotics at the University of Toronto, and is co-editor of Peter Lang’s criminal humanities and forensic semiotics collection. A former police officer with over fifteen years’ experience across myriad areas of investigative specialization, he sits on both the law enforcement and academic committees of the American Investigative Society of Cold Cases, the Board of Directors for the Murder Accountability Project, and regularly serves an investigative consultant for government, industry, and media. His other related works include Introduction to Forensic Writing, a manual of style for criminal investigators authoring search warrants and wiretap affidavits; Murder City, a social history of serial homicide in a small Canadian city in the 1960s and 1970s; Gothic Forensics, a survey of key texts in Victorian horror and mystery that served as the literary progenitors to contemporary police investigative techniques; and Practical Criminology, an introductory textbook that advocates a major reform in the applied scholarship of crime.

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