This volume analyzes the Serial podcast, situating it in the trajectory of other popular crime narratives and contemporary cultural theory. Contributors focus on topics such as the ethics of the use of fiction techniques in investigative journalism, the epistemological overlay of postmodern indeterminacy, and the audience’s prolific activity in social media, examining the competing narrative strategies of the narrators, characters, and the audience. Other topics considered include the multiplication of narratives and the longing for closure, how our minds work as we experience true crime narratives, and what critical race theory can teach us about the program’s strategies.
Introduction: The Unending Story
1. The Ethics of Serialized True Crime: Fictionality in Serial Season One
2. Sounds Authentic: The Acoustic Construction of Serial’s Storyworld
3. Narrative Levels, Theory of Mind, and Sociopathy in True-Crime Narrative—Or, How Is Serial Different from Your Average Dateline Episode?
4. The Serial Commodity: Rhetoric, Recombination, and Indeterminacy in the Digital Age
5. "What We Know": Convicting Narratives in NPR’s Serial
[Sandra Kumamoto Stanley]
6. The Impossible Ethics of Serial: Sarah Koenig, Foucault, Lacan
7. Serial’s Aspirational Aesthetics and Racial Erasure