Literary Theory and Criminology
Literary Theory and Criminology demonstrates the significance of contemporary literary theory to the discipline of criminology, particularly to those criminologists who are primarily concerned with questions of power, inequality, and harm. Drawing on innovations in philosophical, narrative, cultural, and pulp criminology, it sets out a deconstructive framework as part of a critical criminological critique-praxis.
This book comprises eight essays – on globalisation, criminological fiction, poststructuralism, patriarchal political economy, racial capitalism, anthropocidal ecocide, critical theory, and critical praxis – that argue for the value of contemporary literary theory to a critical criminology concerned with the construction of a just and sustainable reality in the face of climate change and other mass harms. This is the first criminology book to engage with literary theory from the perspective of criminology and provides a guide for criminologists who want to deploy literary theory as part of their research programmes. It supersedes existing engagements with poststructuralism in the philosophical criminological tradition because it entails neither a constructionist ontology nor a relativist epistemology. It shows criminologists how literary theory offers the tools to first deconstruct and then reconstruct meaning and value.
Literary Theory and Criminology is essential reading for all critical criminological theorists.
Introduction 1. Mass Harms 2. Criminologies 3. De/Re/Construction 4. Patriarchal Political Economy 5. Racial Capitalism 6. Anthropocidal Ecocide 7. Writing 8. Praxis
"In this insightful and inspiring book, Rafe McGregor harnesses the power of literary and critical theory to change the world. Writing with urgency, McGregor highlights the destructiveness of what he coins ‘mass harms’ and demonstrates how critical literary writings can shape our perceptions of these harms and the actions necessary to confront them. McGregor masterfully integrates critique and praxis. His book is a must-read for the new generation of contemporary critical thinkers and practitioners."
Professor Bernard Harcourt, Columbia University
"This fascinating book reveals insights and truths with a bright intellectual sophistication and tactful philosophical provocation, all the while tapping into the very essence of the existential crises besetting our world today. Wonderfully written, accessible in style, huge in scope, criminology and literary theory will never be the same. A terrific read."
Emeritus Distinguished Professor Rob White, University of Tasmania
"In a world increasingly desecrated by unrelenting spasms of racism, sexism and ecocide, this must-read book succeeds in its desire to reconstruct more socially just ways of thinking, being and engaging in this world."
Professor Nuraan Davids, University of Stellenbosch
"Rafe McGregor is the master of the short monograph. In Literary Theory and Criminology, McGregor makes the provocative argument that ecocide is not only related to racism and sexism by global capitalism, but that it supersedes them in both qualitative and quantitative terms. We should expect nothing less from him: he is the most creative contemporary critical theorist and the closest thing this generation has to Fredric Jameson."
Professor Avi Brisman, University of Eastern Kentucky