Crime, Desire and Law's Unconscious: Law, Literature and Culture

Crime, Desire and Law's Unconscious: Law, Literature and Culture
Product ISBN: 9780415516600
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Crime, Desire and Law's Unconscious: Law, Literature and Culture by David Gurnham, published by Routledge.

Sex and sexuality, and the dangers associated with them, provoke contradictory and ambivalent reactions including fascination, fear, revulsion and excitement. Such ambivalences are well-known stimulants of both creative and juridical activity, which in different ways respond to the problems of people whose sexual behaviors fail to conform to acceptable norms and limits. It is such breaches of acceptability - regarding reckless disease transmission, sexual exploitation and consensual sadomasochism - and the reactions they provoke, that are the core themes of this book. By way of a novel application of theory that draws from psychoanalysis, post-colonialism and feminism, the book examines ways in which the creation of danger and the infliction of harm through sexual behavior are responded to in the criminal courts, in literature and in the wider culture. Presenting analysis of legal judgments in England, Australia, Canada and the United States, and literary texts by Shakespeare, the Marquis de Sade, J.G. Ballard and Susanna Moore, the book argues that punitive and condemnatory reactions to illegal and dangerous sexual practices repress conflicting and troubling unconscious desires.

 

 

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: Introduction: Texts and Theory in Law, Literature and Culture
 
PART ONE: CRIMINALIZING CONTAGION - LEGAL AND ETHICAL CHALLENGES OF DISEASE TRANSMISSION AND THE CRIMINAL LAW
Chapter Two: Choice, death and risk in the criminalization of HIV in consensual sexual relationships
Chapter Three: Sexual offences and the criminalization of HIV: Natural Bedfellows?
 
PART TWO: CRIME, DESIRE AND REPRESSION IN THE CRIMINAL COURTS
Chapter Four: Rochdale with Sade: Sexual exploitation and the fantasy of the 'primal scene' of trauma
Chapter Five: The criminal trial as wish fulfillment: Sexual exploitation and the interpretation of dreams
Chapter Six: Taboo and contamination in the criminalization of consensual non-normative sex