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Cultural Expressions of Evil and Wickedness

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Cultural Expressions of Evil and Wickedness: Wrath, Sex, Crime, is a fascinating study of the a-temporal nature of evil in the West. The international academics and researchers who have contributed to this text not only concentrate on political, social and legally sanctioned cruelty from the past and present, but also explore the nature of moral transgression in contemporary art, media and literature. Although many forms and practices of what might be called `evil' are analysed, all are bound by violence and/or the sexually perverse. As this book demonstrates, the old news media axiom, `if it bleeds it leads,' also extends to the larger pool of popular culture. This absorbing volume will be of interest to anyone who has ever pondered on the exotic, extraordinary and surreal twists of human wickedness.
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Table of Contents

Introduction PART I Wrath: Purging, Cleansing and Appropriating the Deviant Other Rebecca KNUTH: Systemic Book Burning as Evil? William A. COOK: The Destructive Power of Medieval Mythology: A Revisionist View of the Extermination of the Cathars and Pequots Meg BARKER: Satanic Subcultures? A Discourse Analysis of the Self-Perceptions of Young Goths and Pagans Michael F. STRMISKA: The Evils of Christianization: A Pagan Perspective on European History PART II Sexual Imagery: Locus of Pleasure, Pain, Censorship and Reclamation Terrie WADDELL: The Female/Feline Morph: Myth, Media, Sex and the Bestial Loren GLASS: Bad Sex: Second-Wave Feminism and Pornography's Golden Age Darren OLDRIDGE: "Video Abuse": Gender, Censorship and I Spit on Your Grave Madelaine HRON: Naked Terror: Horrific, Aesthetic and Healing Images of Rape PART III Crime: Versions of Guilt, Shame and Redemption Earl F. MARTIN Masking the Evil of Capital Punishment Diana MEDLICOTT: Interrogating the Penal Gaze: Is the Ethical Prison a Possibility? Fiona PETERS: The Contraction of the Heart: Anxiety, Radical Evil and Proximity in Patricia Highsmith's Ripley Novels Paul DAVIES : "I did so many bad things": Sin and Redemption in the Films of Abel Ferrara Notes on Contributors

About the Author

Meg Barker lectures in Psychology and Media and Cultural Studies at University College, Worcester. She researches in the areas of identity and the representation of gender and evil. She would like to thank Sue Chesters, Vicky Bateman and Darren Oldridge for their invaluable help, and the Pagans and Goths who gave so much time and support. William A. Cook resumed the Professor's role in 2000 after 13 years as Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of La Verne in southern California. He spent the 2000-2001 academic year in Europe researching the Cathars and giving lectures at the University of Gloucestershire in Cheltenham, England. He currently teaches Advanced Writing for English Majors, American Literature, and Literature and Mythology for the English Department. His last book is A Time to Know, London: Routledge, 2000. Paul Davies is an English language instructor at the University of Passau, Germany, where he teaches courses on essay writing, translation, and English-language film. He holds an MA from the University of Manitoba and a Ph.D from Queen's University. His research interests include spirituality and religion in film, women filmmakers, and the aesthetics of TV series. Loren Glass is Assistant Professor of American Literature and Cultural Studies at Towson University, USA. Madelaine Hron is a doctoral student at the University of Michigan - her Ph.D. is on The Translation of Pain in Immigrant Texts. Though her work focuses mostly Czech and French literature, she is also concerned with human rights issues, representations of violence, and trauma and healing in literature and art. Rebecca Knuth is an Associate Professor in the Library and Information Science Program at the University of Hawaii. She has recently written, Libricide: The Regime-Sponsored Destruction of Books and Libraries in the Twentieth Century (New York: Praeger, forthcoming). Earl F. Martin is a Professor of Law at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in Fort Worth, Texas. Professor Martin holds a J.D. from the University of Kentucky and an LL.M. from The Yale Law School. Diana Medlicott is Reader in Crime and Penology at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College, UK. Her main research areas are penology, restorative justice, and place identity. Darren Oldridge lectures in History, Media and Cultural Studies at University College Worcester. He has published extensively on early modern history, most recently as the editor of The Witchcraft Reader London: Routledge 2002. Darren would like to thank Dr. Meg Barker for her invaluable help with his contribution to this book. Fiona Peters is completing a PhD on Patricia Highsmith in the School of English at the University of Gloucestershire. Her MA is in Critical Theory from the University of Sussex and she was Principal Lecturer in Critical Theory at the University of North London. She has taught Philosophy and Literature at the Universities of Sussex and Middlesex. At present she teaches Critical Theory and Film Studies at the University of the West of England, Bristol. Michael F. Strmiska holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Boston University. He lecturers in World Religion at Miyazaki International College, Miyazaki, Japan. Terrie Waddell is a lecturer in Media Studies at La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia. Her research interests and publications focus on myth, ritual, carnival, grotesqueries, advertising, and the representation of women in media. Originally trained as an actor, she has worked in film, television, theatre and radio.


"what is most welcome about this book is its relevance to the present world climate in which the construction of `evil' is still and ever increasingly used for right-wing political ends." in: LIMINA, A Journal of Historical and Cultural Studies, Vol. 10, 2004 "covers a very broad spectrum and offers some interesting analyses on diverse topics ... an interesting attempt to place the analysis of evil within a broad approach to the study of popular culture." in: Screening the Past - An international, refereed, electronic journal of visual media and history, 2004

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