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Issue Details: First known date: 2016... 2016 Morgue Porn: Writing a Female Gaze in Forensic Television
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'Crime fiction enjoys lasting popularity but in recent decades writers across a range of media have turned their attention to the dark heart of crime fiction – forensic investigation. Advances in forensic technologies, clinical psychology, and computer generated imagery gave rise to new developments in the genre from the late 1990s that caused its popularity to escalate, particularly forensic television drama, where viewers are increasingly invited into the morgue to peer over the shoulder of the pathologist at the body on the slab. A survey of the new generation of forensic detective programmes that began with the debut of CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) in 2000 reveals that a disproportionate number of television pathologists are female. Writing these female pathologists contests the passivity of female characters in traditional crime drama and, crucially, accommodates a female gaze. While this appears to erode dominant representations of gender, in the case of CSI, the increased visibility of women in tandem with its quasi-educational style masks an even deeper level of objectification of women, and what might once have been viewed as R or even X-rated is presented on primetime television as edutainment. This analysis draws on film theory to situate CSI within the violent misogyny in some contemporary crime fiction writing more generally.' (Publication abstract)

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