SCMS 2015 (Montreal): Justice Served?: Investigating the Theme of Punishment in Crime Films

full name / name of organization: 
Sarah Delahousse

During the course of a crime film, punishment is a major motif that drives the film's narrative. The anticipated conclusion to a crime film, for instance, typically depicts the criminal receiving punishment of his or her misdeeds; this conclusion's prevailing message implies a resolution to the genre's powerful commentary on cultural values related to work and morality by reassuring that social order is restored. However, the instances when the criminal evades punishment or when race, class and/or gender strongly motivate the punishment given call this expected feature's moral compass into question. There are also situations where a crime film's protagonist or supporting character experiences some sort of punishment that further blur the crime film's moral or social connotations. This panel seeks to examine the commentaries and cinematic possibilities emerging from the punishment a character receives or perhaps resists at any point in a crime film's narrative.

Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

Masculinity and punishment

Femininity and punishment

Women and/or men of color and punishment

Socio-economics and punishment

Modernity and the urban space

Modernity and the New Woman

International depictions of crime and punishment

Please submit a proposal along with a short bio and at least 3 bibliographic sources to Sarah Delahousse at by August 1st for consideration.