Questions to consider and things to do-

  • Do we want to do one case study or two?
  • Audience engagement? In the form of a poll? If so, how do we present the ‘facts’ of the case before polling?
  • Types of evidence- confessions, media reports, alibi verifiers (like TV schedule or movie program)
  • Facts- through news headlines
  • To speak for 3-4 mins each- What are our 3 mins each? (1-2 pages A4, single spaces)
  • To meet next week with what we think we’d like to talk about, what aspect we want to focus on (legal restrictions, technical and formal film making style, language and bias, media reporting, confessions, etc.)
  • To compile bibliographies and think more about format of presentation.
  • Will it be speaking or recorded speaking overlayed with sound or clips or visuals?
  • Handouts with bibliography, case info., any other information that’s interesting and relevant but we weren’t able to cover, flow of argument.

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 17.21.27

I’m also hoping this will be the opening slide. Errol Morris’ consistent view that truth is objective, with an unarguably strong example. (?)



General relationship between media and legal system

Auerbach, J. S.. Justice without Law? (New York: Oxford University Press, 1983)

Buchanan, Ruth and Rebecca Johnson ‘Getting the Insider’s Story Out: What Popular Film Can Tell Us about Legal Method’s Dirty Secrets’ Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice 19 (2001), pp. 87-110

Buchanan, Ruth and Rebecca Johnson, “Strange Encounters: Exploring Law and Film in the Affective Register” Studies in Law, Politics and Society (2009), pp. 33-60.

Gordon, Donald R, ‘Mass Media Vs. Rule of Law’ Et cetera: A Review of General Semantics 44:3 (1987), pp. 240-244

Haltom, William and Michael McCann, Distorting the Law: Politics, Media, and the Litigation Crisis (Chicago: University of Chicago press, 2009)

Overton, Angela Lynn ‘Media Depictions of Wrongful Convictions: Reality or Distortion?’ The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Master’s Thesis.

Summers, Robert S. ‘Formal Legal Truth and Substantive Truth in Judicial Fact-Finding – Their Justified Divergence in Some Paticular Cases’ Cornell Law Faculty Publications (1999) Paper 1186

Warden, Rob ‘The Revolutionary Role of Journalism in Identifying and Rectifying Wrongful Convictions’ UKMC Law Review 70:4 (2002), pp. 803-846

Culture and law

Roberts, Julian V. ‘Public Opinion, Crime, and Criminal Justice’ Crime and Justice 16 (1992), pp. 99-180

Silbey, Susan S. ‘Legal culture and cultures of legality’ in Handbook of Cultural Sociology, ed. by John R. Hall, Laura Grindstaff, Ming-Cheng Lo (London and New York: Routledge, 2010), pp. 470-479.

Warden, Rob, ‘The Role of Media and Public Opinion on Innocence Reform: Past and Future’ in Wrongful Conviction and Criminal Justice Reform, ed. by Marvin Zalman and Julia Carrano (New York: Routledge, 2014) pp. 39-55

Relationship between media and specific legal actors

Hans, Valerie P. and Dee, Juliet ‘Media Coverage of Law: Its Impact on Juries and the Public’ Cornell Law Faculty Publications (1999) Paper 324.

Janger, Rachel Shapiro and Jennifer McAllister-Nevins, ‘Of Truth and the Jury’ Clinical Law Review 12:1 (2005) pp. 51-106

Powell, Kerry, ‘Media in Court: The strains of providing news coverage’ Law Now July/August 1992, pp. 8-10


The Thin Blue Line

Curry, Renée R., ‘Errol Morris’ Construction of Innocence in “The Thin Blue Line”’ Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature 49:2 (1995) pp. 153-167

Gershman, Bennett L., ‘The Thin Blue Line: Art or Trial in the Fact-Finding Process?’ Pace Law Review 9:275 (1989), pp. 275-317.

Musser, Charles, ‘Film Truth, Documentary, and the Law: Justice at the Margins’ University of San Francisco Law Review 30 (1996), pp. 963-984

Sherwin, Richard K. When Law Goes Pop: The Vanishing Line Between Law and Popular Culture (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000)


Durrani, Mariam, Kevin Gotkin, and Corrina Laughlin, ‘Serial, Seriality, and the Possibilities for the Podcast Format’ American Anthropologist 117:3 (2015), pp. 593-596

Glater, Jonathan, ‘When a Reporter Enters a Bamboo Grove: Reflections on Serial’ Legal Studies Research Paper Series No. 2015-84


Introducing: Joan Quigley, President Reagan’s Astrologer.

Truth Group a.k.a. R.A.C.K.O! Here is a lil summary of the clip I found briefly outlining the involvement of Quigley in Reagan’s presidency.

Content of clip:

    • hired to read charts for one of the most notable and powerful couples during the xxx in US at the time.
    • many people believe she changed history
    • Quotes from Quigley:
      • The Zero Year Curse
      • Astrologers have noted an unusual conjunction between the planets, Jupiter and Saturn,  that returns every twenty years. The list of presidents who have died in office seem to ‘mysteriously’ be linked with the Zero Year Curse: all were elected in a Zero year. 
        • Lincoln elected in 1860
        • Garfield in 1880
      • ‘I timed all the press conferences, I timed most of the speeches’
      • ‘Every president elected in a Zero Year has died during his term in office’
    • After Reagan’s successful presidential campaign and election in 1980, his wife Nancy Reagan sought out Quigley’s services. 
    • Reagan escaped death in March 1981 when a bullet almost hit him during the assassination by John Hinckley. 
      • from then on Quigley used astrology for every important event to do with his presidency, even those nothing to do with his safety. 
    • Astrological Chart for Ronald Reagan’s Oath of Office – January 20th 1985
    • Critical moment:
      • perfect time: 11:32:25 am EST +5:00
        • video footage shows the audience member raising his hand at the exact moment for this to happen.
        • on the chart she looked at the parts relating to fortune, rather than a planet or a sign. It indicated the perfect time for the announcement in order to maximise the likelihood of senate approval
        • ‘it had to be so exact to the exact second’
        • ‘someone was sitting in the audience with a stop-watch and gave the signal for the president to announce that he was nominating Anthony Kennedy for the Supreme Court’
        • Quigley had carefully planned this timing though undergoing a complicated calculation based on the chart.
        • three months later, Kennedy approved by the Senate.
        • did Quigley’s calculation impact the outcome? This is the question
      • what was made clear by this incident, however, is that Reagan used astrology to help run his own life and his country…
      • after the defeat of Robert Birk (?) as a supreme court justice, the timing of the next nominee was entrusted to the stars….
      • Quigley created a chart for Anthony Kennedy to nominate him as justice for the supreme court ‘it was impossible to find a really good time’
      • She interpreted the symbols on the zodiac chart (2:10) to plot the perfect time when the planets would favour the new candidate
    • Astrological timings played a role in Reagan’s reelection
      • Quigley advised that they delay it until the last Sunday in January in 1984 based on a chart she found.
    • No attempts at assassination during his second term
      • due to increased CIA surveillance? Or because of the careful planning and timings of Quigley the astrologer?


This book might be of interest to take a little peak into to see what sort of evidence Quigley gives of her involvement with Reagan:

“What Does Joan Say?” My Seven Years as White House Astrologer to Nancy and Ronald Reagan – Joan Quigley

Initial Research – Animation as Propaganda during WWII

To start research into our chosen topic we have decided to look at a number of short films produced by a variety of people during, or just before, World War II. Our starting point were some Walt Disney produced shorts, and from there we have looked a bit further and found there are a lot of accessible American produced shorts, and a number of shorts produced in Germany under the Nazi party, as well as in Japan and Italy.

The following shorts are where we are going to begin this project. There are also Popeye, Bugs Bunny, Looney Toons and a Superman short which may end up being considered whilst we narrow down our focus. Particularly as there is a Popeye short that is a lot more anti-Japanese than the cartoons listed below. The shorts are:-

Education for Death: a Walt Disney educational short on the making of Nazis.

Commando Duck: a Walt Disney short in which Donald Duck is posted to Japan.

Der Fuehrer’s face: It has got a 1 minute 30 introduction before the short in this clip, but also mentions Mussolini as well as Hitler and Hirohito. Another Donald Duck-centric animation.

Spirit of ’43: It’s about the need to pay tax to support the war effort.

Food Will Win The War: Focuses on American agriculture.

Verwitterte Melodie (Weather-beaten Melody): Produced in Nazi Germany and commissioned by the Nazi party but the animators may not have particularly supported the cause, so it’s not as blatant as the Disney productions. The hedgehog takes over as phonograph needle but is quickly deposed and the bee gets back to being the phonograph needle.

Der Störenfried: A story of a Fox and a Rabbit, the original is around 12 minutes long but I have yet to find a full-length version of this.

Il Dottor Churkill: An Italian one. I linked to one with English subtitles.

And although this is from 1936, Evil Mickey attacks Japan: which is fairly self-explanatory.

We have also identified a number of articles and books to read, including Animation Under the Swastika: A History of Trickfilm in Nazi Germany, 1933-1945 by Rolf Giesen and J. P. Storm, which we will hopefully acquire from the library.

In looking into this, we also found this article in the Jerusalem Post on how ‘Be Prepared’ from the Lion King has its roots in Nazism: but we are going to limit ourselves to the contemporaneous examples.

Multilingualism POST ONE: Introduction

Our group has chosen to focus our project on the topic of multilingualism. We landed on this topic because it touches upon many key questions related to our common language theme, and because many of us have experience with negotiationg several languages in our lives.

Multilingualism is a dynamic and interesting field of inquiry, touching upon everything from neuroscience and psychology, to communication, to translation, both in everyday life and of literary and musical works, to concepts of identity, perception and knowledge construction, which are prominent in social anthropology and cultural studies.

Our languages are central to our everyday life, behaviour, and communication, but also to how we construct our own identity and understand ourselves (to a larger extent that monolingual people might realise and reflect upon).


Following a few group meetings, both with just the group and with our supervisor, we are coming closer to the questions we are interested in exploring. They include:

  • How do languages reflect people’s construction of knowledge?
  • How do people’s languages relate to their self-identity?
  • How do people reflect upon their use of languages?
  • How does being bi- or multilingual affect your perception and thinking?

In terms of research methodology, we want to conduct a pilot study consisting of both questionnaires and in-depth interviews. Complemented by a comprehensive literature review of the topic, we hope the questionnaires and interviews can help us understand how individuals subjectively relate to, negotiate and perceive of the role of the language(s) available to them, in their everyday lives, dreams and cognition.  We are going to present our findings in the format of a short ‘documentary’.