Gender Studies | Themes in Gender Studies: Sex, Gender and Crime
G205 | 26966 | Lane, B


Sex Crime and Punishment is an interdisciplinary course that
concerns gendered and sexualized representations of crime through
issues like sexual violence, pornography, and prostitution as well
as throughfigures of deviance like the serial killer and the sexual
predator who are frequently represented in contemporary mass media.
In particular, thiscourse considersthe relationships between
criminality and gendered and sexualized forms of deviance across
multiple disciplines, including law, sociology, psychology,
philosophy, media studies, art history, literature, and cultural
criticism.Course material ranges from particular films, cases from
the law, newspaper articles, and popular writings from
psychiatrists, lawyers, and medical doctors from the past century to
scholarly work by feminist and queer historians and theorists of
social control. Special topics include the figures of
particular ‘criminals’ like Lizzie Borden, Jack the Ripper, Jeffrey
Dahmer, and H.H. Holmes (the killer profiled in Erik Larson’s
bestseller The Devil in the White City);the Black Dahlia murder;
Dateline NBC’s To Catch a Predator;and recent legal cases on rape.
Film viewings range from silent classics like Fritz Lang’s M to
women-in-prison B-movies from the 1940s and 1950s to more
contemporary blockbusters like The Silence of the Lambs and Notes on
a Scandal. Course readings, viewings, lecture notes, and discussions
will be organized to show how concepts like normality and deviance,
publicity and privacy, legality and illegality, vengeance and
justice, and citizenship and non-citizenship have particularly
gendered dimensions within public discourse.