Date of Award

8-9-2006

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Degree Program

English

Department

English

Major Professor

Doll, Dan

Second Advisor

Lackey, Kris

Third Advisor

White, Les

Abstract

The Newgate Calendar, one of the earliest true crime documents, has rarely been studied. This paper aims to demonstrate that these texts illuminate various aspects of the culture that both produced and consumed the narratives the Calendar contains. In particular, I have focused on two different categories of crimes against the body. The Calendar's early volumes, which were published while state-sponsored punishment was still a public spectacle, offer several accounts that deal with the confinement and torture of living victims. Later volumes do not include torture narratives. Instead, anxiety over the treatment of dead bodies caused an increased interest in stories detailing postmortem abuses like dismemberment. Through the application of critical lenses like feminist, queer, sociological, and popular cultural approaches to various criminal biographies offered in the Calendar, I have attempted to show the ways in which these texts tracked shifts in the dominant culture.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

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