Murder, the Media, and the Politics of Public Feelings

Murder, the Media, and the Politics of Public Feelings : Remembering Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr.

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In 1998, the horrific murders of Matthew Shepard-a gay man living in Laramie, Wyoming-and James Byrd Jr.-an African American man dragged to his death in Jasper, Texas-provoked a passionate public outrage. The intense media coverage of the murders made moments of violence based in racism and homophobia highly visible and which eventually led to the passage of The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act in 2009. The role the media played in cultivating, shaping, and directing the collective emotional response toward these crimes is the subject of this gripping new book by Jennifer Petersen. Tracing the emotional exchange from news stories to the creation of law, Petersen calls for an approach to media and democratic politics that takes into account the role of affect in the political and legal life of the more

Product details

  • Paperback | 222 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 20.32mm | 340.19g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 0253223393
  • 9780253223395
  • 2,074,521

Review quote

Petersen offers an impressive reading of media discourses illustrating the value of public feelings and how they can become animating forces in the production of civic action. * Great Plains Quarterly * Petersen grounds her study in a wide array of literature about topics including the ethics of mediating suffering, masculinity, gender, class, melodrama, liberalism, the public sphere, imagined communities, reason, and emotion. . . . Graduate students interested in cultural studies, gender and queer studies, and/or advocacy may find Petersen's book useful. * JHISTORY H-Net * Petersen makes use of an intriguing thesis and presents an insightful source for journalism and broadcasting students. July 2011 * Library Journal *show more

About Jennifer Petersen

Jennifer Petersen is Assistant Professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia. Her work has appeared in numerous journals including Media, Culture & Society and Critical Studies in Media more

Table of contents

Introduction: Media, Emotion, and the Public Sphere1. Mourning Matthew Shepard: Grief, Shame, and the Public Sphere2. "Hate is Not a Laramie Value": Translating Feelings into Law3. The Murder of James Byrd Jr.: The Political Pedagogy of Melodrama4. The Visibility of Suffering, Injustice, and the LawConclusion: Feeling in the Public SphereAppendix: Text and Interview SelectionBibliographyIndexshow more

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