This book is a critical summary and exegesis of the work of Nicole Rafter, who was a leading scholar of the history of biological theories of crime causation as well as a profound theorist of the role of history within criminology. It introduces Rafter’s key works and assesses her contributions to the fields of feminist criminology, cultural criminology, visual criminology and historical criminology. It also explores her theorization of criminology’s identity, scientific status, and possible futures.
While many books on criminological theory explain and historically contextualize theory, they do not interrogate the production of theory or the epistemological assumptions behind it. Drawing on the world of Nicole Rafter, this book offers an accessible handbook to her extensive historical studies and to how her work demonstrated the importance of historical theory to criminological knowledge. Furthermore, the author brings Rafter’s historical research to life and shows how it speaks to contemporary issues in criminology and punishment.
Written in a clear and direct style, this book will appeal to students and scholars of criminological theory, intellectual history, sociology, comparative criminology, and feminist criminology.
Table of Contents
1.An Introduction to Nicole Rafter 2.Prison History and Feminist Criminology 3.Intelligence, Biology, and Crime 4.Crime Films and Criminology 5.The End of Criminology? 6.Criminology and Genocide 7.Four Reflections
Chase Burton is Assistant Professor of Law and Society at Leiden University. He received his Ph.D. and JD from the University of California, Berkeley. His work has been published in journals such as Law and Social Inquiry and The British Journal of Criminology.
Nicole Hahn Rafter was a unique thinker in criminology. Everything she wrote was imbued with her sense of justice, her belief in the salience of gender, and her understanding of the vital importance of history. Burton’s work is must read for those seeking to understand the origins of feminist criminology.
Meda Chesney-Lind, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Nicole Rafter, throughout her career, addressed crucial issues to which mainstream criminology paid far too little attention. They include genocide, gender and imprisonment, media, the link between criminology and eugenics, and criminology as a discipline. Chase Burton's well and intelligently written book makes Rafter’s work accessible to new generations of scholars, embedding it in a broad body of scholarship.
Joachim J. Savelsberg, author of Knowing about Genocide: Armenian Suffering and Epistemic Struggles