Lecture IX: 24 March 2013

We are excited to announce that Angie Vivian and Erin Handley will be lecturing on a theme of Symbolism on Sunday 24 March 2013. Abstracts below.

Studying Symbolism in Criminal Justice Policy(making)

by Angie Vivian

I provide a preliminary overview of criminological literature that has some nexus with Political Science and Policy Studies. This body of work appears to contend that ‘symbolic’ crime policies are inferior, implying that they should perhaps be more ‘instrumental’. Applying that dominant thinking to case studies of legislation (‘anti-hoon laws’ in Victoria and the ‘rock throwing’ offence in New South Wales), I highlight a void in the research that needs to be filled (and not with cars or rocks). Should we be concerned about the implications of the existing criminological research that focuses on criminal justice policy and its symbolic content? I think that the potential research should be process-oriented and ensure that the public, criminal justice practitioners, policy-makers and academics feel included in all the policymaking fun!!!

Soul Searching

by Erin Handley

How do we symbolise that which has no earthly shape, something as abstract (!) as the human soul? This talk will examine how folklorists have grappled with the depiction of the soul. We will begin with a brief historical discussion about fairy tales and how they have constantly been revised and rewritten, demonstrating that fairy tales are a space of debate and dialogue about concepts and social behaviour. We will then focus on how the soul is depicted in certain fairy tales, including Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid and Oscar Wilde’s response in The Fisherman and His Soul.

A clear explanation


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