1st Edition

The Serial Podcast and Storytelling in the Digital Age

Edited By Ellen McCracken Copyright 2017
    124 Pages
    by Routledge

    124 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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

    [Ellen McCracken]

    1. The Ethics of Serialized True Crime: Fictionality in Serial Season One

    [Erica Haugtvedt]

    2. Sounds Authentic: The Acoustic Construction of Serial’s Storyworld

    [Jillian DeMair]

    3. Narrative Levels, Theory of Mind, and Sociopathy in True-Crime Narrative—Or, How Is Serial Different from Your Average Dateline Episode?

    [David Letzler]

    4. The Serial Commodity: Rhetoric, Recombination, and Indeterminacy in the Digital Age

    [Ellen McCracken]

    5. "What We Know": Convicting Narratives in NPR’s Serial

    [Sandra Kumamoto Stanley]

    6. The Impossible Ethics of Serial: Sarah Koenig, Foucault, Lacan

    [Ryan Engley]

    7. Serial’s Aspirational Aesthetics and Racial Erasure

    [Charli Valdez]


    Ellen McCracken is Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Program in Comparative Literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA.