Professor Suzanne Bouclin has published a new book entitled Women, Film, and Law: Cinematic Representations of Female Incarceration (UBC Press), which examines how popular fictional depictions of women’s imprisonment explore, shape, and refine beliefs about women who are incarcerated.
Professor Bouclin argues that fictional depictions of women in prison can illuminate the multiple forms of marginalization, social exclusion, and oppression experienced by criminalized women. The creative influence of film and television can also generate legal meaning as viewers can experience both empathy towards the women portrayed in these films and concern about the crimes that led to their incarceration.
The book focuses on specific films and television series in the Women-in-Prison (WIP) genre, including Ann Vickers, Caged, Caged Heat, Stranger Inside, Civil Brand, and Orange Is the New Black. These representations bring into view the legal, economic, and political structures that criminalize women differently from men, and that target those women who are already at the margins of society. The book offers new insights in the fields of film, cultural studies and legal studies, while also addressing topics of governance, regulation of women, and social exclusion.
Professor Bouclin was awarded an Awards to Scholarly Publication Program (ASPP) grant in support of the publication of this book, courtesy of funds provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Congratulations to Professor Bouclin on the publication of this innovative new book!