Law and Justice on the Small Screen

Law and Justice on the Small Screen, book cover via Hart Publishing websiteHart Publishing has just announced the publication of Law and Justice on the Small Screen, edited by Peter Robson (University of Strathclyde) and Jessica Silbey (Suffolk University Law School).

This is the book description from the Hart website:

Law and Justice on the Small Screen is a wide-ranging collection of essays about law in and on television. In light of the book’s innovative taxonomy of the field and its international reach, it will make a novel contribution to the scholarly literature about law and popular culture. Television shows from France, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and the United States are discussed. The essays are organised into three sections: (1) methodological questions regarding the analysis of law and popular culture on television; (2) a focus on genre studies within television programming (including a subsection on reality television), and (3) content analysis of individual television shows with attention to big-picture jurisprudential questions of law’s efficacy and the promise of justice. The book’s content is organised to make it appropriate for undergraduate and graduate classes in the following areas: media studies, law and culture, socio-legal studies, comparative law, jurisprudence, the law of lawyering, alternative dispute resolution and criminal law.

From the “Introduction” by Peter Robson and Jessica Silbey (pdf)

In this book we sought to take stock of the diversity of approaches to the study of law and television, and to craft a preliminary taxonomy that enriches analysis in the field. The structure of this volume is not the only way to account for the field of ‘law and television’ studies, but in light of the field’s history and its major contributors thus far, we thought it sensible to build on the founding texts and to derive some broader categories in which to delve more deeply.

This is the table of contents (based on this pdf, with added links):

Part I: Method/Context
1. Measuring Humanity: Rights in the 24th Century, by Lief H Carter and Michael McCann
2. Television, Pleasure and the Empire of Force: Interrogating Law and Affect in Deadwood, by Rebecca Johnson
3. Making ‘Bad Apples’ on The Bridge: A Production Study of the Making of a Police Drama, by Anita Lam
4. Testing Television: Studying and Understanding the Impact of Television’s Depictions of Law and Justice, by Kimberlianne Podlas
5. Let’s See How Far We’ve Come: The Role of Empirical Methodology in Exploring Television Audiences, by Cassandra Sharp

Part II: Genre Studies
A. The Evolved Law TV Genres

6. Dark Justice: Women Legal Actors on Basic Cable, by Taunya Lovell Banks
7. A Third Rapist? Television Portrayals of Rape Evidence Rules, by Paul Bergman
8. Prosecutors and Psychics on the Air: Does a ‘Psychic Detective Effect’ Exist?, by Christine A Corcos
9. Lawyers in Terrorism Thrillers, by Tung Yin

B. Reality Law TV
10. Til Debt Do Us Part: Reality TV and the Financial Literacy Regulatory Project, by Freya Kodar
11. Judging Reality Television Judges, by Nancy S Marder
12. Television Judges in Germany, by Stefan Machura
13. Judge Judy: Constructions of ‘Justice with an Attitude’, by Marilyn Terzic
14. Reality TV and the Entrapment of Predators, by Mark Tunick

Part III: Specific Shows
15. Bordering on Identity: How English Canadian Television Differentiates American and Canadian Styles of Justice, by Ummni Khan
16. Television Divorce in Post-Franco Spain: Anillos de oro (Wedding Rings), by Anja Louis
17. ‘McNutty’ on the Small Screen: Improvised Legality and the Irish-American Cop in HBO’s The Wire, by Sara Ramshaw
18. Torture and Contempt of the Law in 24: Selling America New ‘Patriotic’ Values, by Ryan J Thomas and Susan Dente Ross
19. Decoding the Dark Passenger: The Serial Killer as a Force for Justice. Adapting Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter for the Small Screen, by Angus Nurse
20. Canada: ADR and The Associates, by Jennifer L Schulz
21. Stranger Danger?: Sadistic Serial Killers on the Small Screen, by Annette Houlihan.

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