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Center for Crime Popular Culture

Center for Crime & Popular Culture | St. Francis College

Center for Crime & Popular Culture

Reframing Crime and Justice in Popular Culture

Since 2012, the Center for Crime & Popular Culture has sought to engage the St. Francis College community on the ways that cultural artifacts shape and reflect public attitudes around criminality, justice, and social control by supporting innovative multi-disciplinary research, and hosting special events and guest speakers on campus.

What We Do

The Center for Crime & Popular Culture is committed to fostering innovative scholarship on the intersection of crime, social control, and popular culture, and educating scholars, students, and practitioners about how popular culture is a dominant force through which social meanings around crime and justice are established, institutionalized, and reproduced.

Language Offers Clues in Sandra Bland Traffic Stop
SFCTV Talks with Jennifer Baumgardner
Now That We're Men After Play Discussion
Mothers and Prison
STOP Documentary Film - Director Q&A
Civil Rights Leader Bernard LaFayette
Parenting, Prison & Pups

Past Events

Select Events and Guest Speakers Sponsored by the Center for Crime & Popular Culture

  • Fischer, Sarah, Ph.D., Marymount University, on Self-Care for Criminal Justice Students and Practitioners, Spring 2024
  • Gjika, Anna, Ph.D., SUNY New Paltz, on When Rape Goes Viral: The Digital Trail in Sex Crimes, Spring 2024
  • Jamie Longazel, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, on 'Blue Lives Matter' and Pro-Police Counter-Movements, Fall 2023
  • Madison Gerdes, Ph.D. Candidate, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Northeastern University on Distorting Reality: An Examination of Media Coverage of Mass Shootings and Its Impacts on Public Perception, Fall 2023
  • Alyce McGovern, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Criminology in the School of Law, Society and Criminology, Faculty of Law and Justice, UNSW, Sydney, Australia on Criminal and Social Justice Craftivism, Fall 2023
  • Co-sponsored with Forum on Migration, Dr. Judy Newton, President Newton Foundation and former NYPD on Traversing Through The Immigrant Universe In New York City, Fall 2023
  • Gabriela Moreton, LCSW, Columbia Social Work (SFC ’20) and Jayson Rivera, JD, Touro University Law Center (SFC ’18) on Career Journeys: Perspectives from Our Past Students, Spring 2023
  • Laura Moisi, Ph.D., Media Studies and Modern German Literature, TU Dresden, Germany, on Violent intimacies: Cultural narratives of violence and intimacy, Fall 2022
  • Harry Siegel, journalist, on Minding the Gap in Fear City: Crime, Politics, and Fear in NYC, Fall 2022
  • Teresa Lopez-Castro, Ph.D., on Trauma and Addiction: Closing the Gap Between Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment, Fall 2019
  • Venezia Michalsen, Ph.D., on Gender and the Criminal Punishment System: What’s Different About Women and Girls? Fall 2019
  • Anna Gjika, PhD., on Technology, Masculinity, and Rape Culture in Adolescent Sexual Assault, Spring 2019
  • Graphic Justice Discussions Conference: Law, Comics, Justice - in collaboration with the Graphic Justice Alliance (Scotland, UK). October 20, 2018
  • Murray Lee, University of Sydney, School of Law on Fear of Crime, Spring 2018
  • Alex Vitale, Ph.D., on End of Policing, and Q&A, Fall 2017
  • Hosted Center for Crime and Popular Culture Fellow Dr. Alyce McGovern of University of New South Wales, Fall 2016
  • Spencer Wolf, director, Stop Documentary screening and Q&A, Fall 2015
  • Eli Silverman, Ph.D., on Crime Numbers and the NYPD, Fall 2015
  • Hosted in Comics and the Law: From Gotham to Ferguson. FanBros Panel, Spring 2015
  • Frank Wilson, Ph.D., on What 40 Years of Cop Films Can Tell Us About Racism, White Privilege, and Ferguson, Spring 2015
  • Gabriella Coleman, Ph.D., on Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous, Fall 2014
  • Compliance screening, featuring actor Ann Dowd and producer Theo Sena, Fall 2013
  • Guerrilla Girls: Sexism and Racism in Art and Popular Culture, Fall 2012
  • Le Tigre: On Tour documentary screening featuring Johanna Fateman and directory Kerthy Fix, Spring 2011
Post-Prison Students Talk About the Important of Education
Victoria Law: Women Behind Bars: Realities & Resistance Beyond Orange is the New Black
Gregory Glover on the NYC CCRB
Portia Allen-Kyle on Activism and Police Tactics in St. Louis
Bennett Capers on Techno-Policing
Guerrilla Girls at SFC

Graphic Justice Discussions

Graphic Justice Discussions 2018:

The Graphic Justice Research Alliance (GJRA) annual conference was held October 20, 2018 at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY. The theme, ‘Law, Comics, Justice’, was designed to appeal to scholars, artists, practitioners, policy-makers, writers, and the general public alike. We were thrilled to have legendary comic writer and editor Ann Nocenti as the event’s keynote speaker. Nocenti has lent her distinctive voice to numerous beloved comic book runs, including her writings for Marvel’s Daredevil and DC’s Catwoman, Katana, and Green Arrow. Nocenti discussed The Seeds, a four-issue series in collaboration with artist David Aja. The series, part of a new line of Berger Books published by Dark Horse Comics, is described as “An eco-fiction tech-thriller … a story of love beyond race and gender, and of the resilience of both human and animal kind.” Go here for more about the event.

Publications and Research

Comics, Crime, and Justice

  • Phillips, N. & Strobl, S. (2022). Global capitalism as blood sacrifice: Mainstream American comic books and depictions of economic inequality. Critical Criminology. DOI: 0.1007/s10612–022–09618-z.
  • Phillips, N. & Strobl, S. (2015). When (Super)heroes Kill: Vigilantism and deathworthiness in Justice League, Red Team, and the Christopher Dorner killing spree. In Thom Giddens (Ed.) Graphic Justice: Intersections of Comics and Law. Oxfordshire, UK: Taylor & Francis.
  • Phillips, N. and Strobl, S. (2014). Cultural criminology and kryptonite: Constructions of crime and justice in best-selling American comic books. In F. Wilson (Ed.), Crime and Media Studies: Diversity of Method, Medium, and Communication. San Diego, CA: Cognella, Inc. (Reprint).
  • Phillips, N. & Strobl, S. (2013). Comic Book Crime: Truth, Justice, and the American Way. New York, NY: NYU Press.

Crime and Popular Media

  • Vollum, S., & Garland, T., & Phillips, N. (2021). The Walking Dead and criminological theory: Exploring the impact of radical social change on crime through the lens of a zombie apocalypse. In Crime TV: Streaming Criminology in Popular Culture. Grubb, J. & Posick, C. (Eds.). New York, NY: NYU Press.
  • Phillips, N. and Chagnon, N. (2021), Lost in the mediascape: Embracing uncertainties and contradictions at the cultural nexus of crime and media in Wiest, J.B. (Ed.) Theorizing Criminality and Policing in the Digital Media Age (Studies in Media and Communications, Vol. 20), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 151–167.
  • Phillips, N. (2017). Violence, media effects, and criminology. In N. Rafter & M. Brown’s (Ed.) Oxford Encyclopedia of Crime, Media, and Popular Culture. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • McGovern, A. & Phillips, N (2017). The police, media, and popular culture. In N. Rafter & M. Brown’s (Ed.) Oxford Encyclopedia of Crime, Media, and Popular Culture. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Garland, T., Phillips, N. & Vollum, S. (2016). Gender politics and The Walking Dead: Gendered violence and the reestablishment of patriarchy. Feminist Criminology, 13(1), 59-86.
  • Strobl, S., Phillips, N., Reynolds, D., & Banutai, E. (2015). Film-making and community restorative justice: Slovenian police and Roma in Shanghai Gypsy. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 4(4), 22-39.

Cybercrime and Online Deviance

  • Maratea, R.J., Kerbel, A., Frontale, S. &Veevers-Carter, K. (2020). “t’s a Dog Eat Dog World: Navigating Stigma in a Zoophilia Online Community. Pp. 237-52 in Deviance Today, 2nd ed., edited by A. Conyers and T.C. Calhoun. New York: Routledge.
  • Maratea, R.J., Kavanaugh, P. & Tafoya, J. (2017). “Zoosexual Identity Talk and the Disciplining of Discourse.” Pp. 282-92 in Routledge Handbook on Deviance, edited by S.E. Brown and O. Sefiha. New York: Routledge.
  • Kavanaugh, P. & Maratea, R.J. (2016). Identity, Resistance, and Moderation in an Online Community of Zoosexuals. Sexualities 19(1/2):3-24.
  • Maratea, R.J. (2015). “Online Claims-making: The NRA and Gun Advocacy in Cyberspace.” Qualitative Sociology Review 11(2):144-59.
  • Kavanaugh, P. & Maratea, R.J. (2014). “[A]moral Panics and Risk in Contemporary Drug and Viral Pandemic Claims.” Pp. 378-88 in Understanding Deviance: Connecting Classical and Contemporary Perspectives, edited by T.L. Anderson. New York: Routledge.
  • Maratea, R.J. (2014). The Politics of the Internet: Political Claims-making in Cyberspace and How It’s Affecting Modern Political Activism. Lanham, MD: Lexington.
  • Maratea, R.J. & Kavanaugh, P. (2012). Deviant Identity in Online Contexts: New Directives in the Study of a Classic Concept. Sociology Compass 6(2):102-12.

Gonzo Justice and Social Control

  • Maratea, R. J. (2024). It’s Not a Lie if You Believe It: Donald Trump’s Gonzo Expertise as Dramaturgical Performance. The American Sociologist, 1–24.
  • Monahan, B. & Maratea, R.J. (2021). The Art of the Spiel: Analyzing Donald Trump’s Tweets as Gonzo Storytelling. Symbolic Interaction (44)4:699-727.
  • Maratea, R.J. & Monahan, B. (2013). “Crime Control as Mediated Spectacle: The Institutionalization of Gonzo Rhetoric in Modern Media and Politics.” Symbolic Interaction 36(3):261-74.

Popular Media and Sexual Violence

  • Chagnon, N. & Phillips, N. (2021). “Like fetching water with a bucket full of holes”: High-profile cases and perceptions of system failure. Critical Criminology, 29, 329-347.
  • Phillips, N. & Chagnon, N. (2020). Where's the panic, where's the fire? Why claims of moral panic and witch hunts miss the mark when it comes to campus rape and MeToo. Feminist Media Studies, 21(3), 409-426.
  • Fileborn, B. & Phillips, N. (2019). From ‘Me Too’ to ‘Too Far’? Contesting the boundaries of sexual violence in contemporary activism. In Fileborn, B., & Loney-Howes, R. (Eds.). #MeToo and the politics of social change. London, UK: Palgrave MacMillian.
  • Phillips, N. (2017). Beyond Blurred Lines: Rape Culture in Popular Media. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Phillips, N. & Chagnon, N. (2018). “Six months is a joke”: Carceral feminism and penal populism in the wake of the Stanford sexual case. Feminist Criminology, 15(1). DOI: 10.1177/1557085118789782.
  • Phillips, N. & Horowitz, E. (2017, November/December). Rape culture and sex offender policies. Sexual Assault Report, 21(2), p. 17-28.

Social Problems

  • Maratea, R.J. and Brian Monahan, B. (2016). Social Problems in Popular Culture. Chicago: Policy Press.
  • Monahan, B. & Maratea, R.J. (2013). Breaking News on Nancy Grace: Violent Crime in the Media.”Pp. 209-27 in Making Sense of Social Problems: New Images, New Issues, edited by. J. Best and S.R. Harris. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.

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