Calvin Thomas | author of Masculinity, Psychoanalysis, Straight Queer Theory
"Lisa Downing's latest book is an original and daring attempt to prod us to rethink our conventional, inherited, and normative conceptions of the figure of the murderer. Downing convincingly and disturbingly argues that murderers are not really 'others,' but that the subjectivities of murderers should be located on a continuum with us. The Subject of Murder is a profoundly relevant feminist/queer contribution to our understanding of our present historical moment."
David Schmid, University of Buffalo | author of Natural Born Celebrities: Serial Killers in American Culture
“The Subject of Murder is an original, superbly researched, and important work that deserves a broad readership. It will be of interest to audiences from a wide range of disciplines, from French literature to cultural studies, sexuality studies, and queer studies; from popular culture to criminology and sociology. There has never been a book quite like it.”
J. Jack Halberstam | author of The Queer Art of Failure
"The Subject of Murder is the kind of book that you didn't know you needed until you read it, and then you cannot understand how you ever thought about its subject without it! Murderers, as Downing points out, are cast as singular, exceptional, and remarkable in Euro-American cultural life. However, using a Foucauldian framework to fold murder and violence intot the set of discursive frames that produce modern human identity, Downing shows us how to see the murderer as a product of modernity rather than as the subject it wishes to suppres. A remarkable book."
Nikki Sullivan | author of A Critical Introduction to Queer Theory
"Lisa Downing's case studies demonstrate a remarkable intellectual dexterity in moving between the abstract ideas that shape the subjects she discusses and the materiality of the lives of those thus shaped. The Subject of Murder is at once an intellecutal tour de force, and, like its subjects, is absolutely fascinating."
Part I. Murder and Gender in the European Nineteenth Century
Chapter 1. “Real Murderer and False Poet”: Pierre-François Lacenaire
Chapter 2. The “Angel of Arsenic”: Marie Lafarge
Chapter 3. The Beast in Man: Jack and the Rippers Who Came After
Part II. The Twentieth-Century Anglo-American Killer
Chapter 4. “Infanticidal” Femininity: Myra Hindley
Chapter 5. “Monochrome Man”: Dennis Nilsen
Chapter 6. Serial Killing and the Dissident Woman: Aileen Wuornos
Chapter 7. Kids Who Kill: Defying the Stereotype of the Murderer
By Way of Brief Conclusion . . .
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu