Media @ McGill

Rentschler, Carrie

Position: 

Associate Professor, William Dawson Scholar in Feminist Media Studies

Interest and Bio: 

Today more than ever, representations of psychological trauma and physical victimization saturate mass media coverage, profoundly shaping the contours of public debate about crime, terrorism, war and citizenship. Within these debates, the mass media are powerful sites of cultural and political identification. They are also strategic sites for cultural and political mobilization. Carrie Rentschler's research explores these issues by linking the mass circulation of media representations to their strategic mobilization by social movements, and corporate and political interests in the US and Canada.

Professor Rentschler's publications examine the relationship between mass-mediated representations of suffering and models of citizenship, the gender politics of environmental security and its publicity, the diverse media activism practices of social movements, women's self-defense as a form of feminist pedagogy, and the gendered politics of fear. Her first book, Second Wounds: Victims' Rights and the Media in the U.S. (Duke University Press: 2011), retells the recent history of crime and disaster media from the perspective of victims' rights reforms and publicity practices. She is currently writing a book on the 1964 Kitty Genovese murder (where 38 New Yorkers supposedly looked on and did nothing) and its cultural legacies of failed witness.

Carrie Rentschler is Associate Professor and William Dawson Scholar of Feminist Media Studies in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University. She earned a BA magna cum laude in Humanities (1994) from the University of Minnesota, an AM in Speech Communication (1998) and a PhD in Communications (2002) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Projects: 

Gender, Crime, Security and the Media; Remaking Victims: News and the Politics of Victims’ Rights; Second Wounds: Victims’ Rights and the Media in the U.S; Witness Failed: Cultural Legacies of the 1964 Kitty Genovese Murder Feminist Studies of Movements and their Cultural Infrastructures Girlhood Studies and the Politics of Place: New Paradigms of Research

Publications: 

Professor Rentschler's publications examine the relationship between mass-mediated representations of suffering and models of US citizenship, the gender politics of environmental security and its publicity, the diverse media activism practices of social movements, women's self-defense as a form of feminist pedagogy, and the gendered politics of fear. Her first book, Second Wounds: Victims' Rights and the Media in the U.S. (Duke University Press: 2011), retells the recent history of crime and disaster media from the perspective of victims' rights reforms and publicity practices. She is currently working on her second book, Witness Failed: Cultural Legacies of the 1964 Kitty Genovese Murder.

Forthcoming publications:

“Cultural Studies and the Re-Description of Girls in Crisis” a special issue of Girlhood Studies: An International Journal. 6:2 (October 2013).

Girlhood Studies and the Politics of Place: New Paradigms of Research. Book under contract at Berghahn Press with co-editor Claudia Mitchell. Manuscript due December 15, 2013

“STFU Rape Culture! and the Politics of Social Media" ” article in production for special issue of Girlhood Studies: An International Journal 6(2), October 2013

“Technologies of Bystanding: Learning to See Like a Bystander” chapter forthcoming in Shaping Inquiry in Culture, Communication and Media Studies, ed. Barbie Zelizer. Routledge, 2013. Submitted 2 March 2013.

 “The Archive as Witness to the 1964 Kitty Genovese Murder," digital humanities article in production for Urban History journal special issue “Visual Culture and Urban History,” July 2013.

A Shout in the Street: The Bystander Problem and other Cultural Legacies of the 1964 Kitty Genovese Murder, book manuscript in process.

Her recent publications include:

“On S’en Câlisse, La Loi Speciale: The Music Festival that Wasn’t” Wi: Journal of Mobile Media, (2012). Invited contribution, 1500 words.

Republished as “Grab your drum and join us: Montreal’s street music festival like no other” 6 June 2012 at rabble.ca.

Republished 1 July 2012 at nomorepotlucks.org: http://nomorepotlucks.org/site/on-sen-calisse-la-loi-speciale-the-music-festival-that-wasnt

"An Urban Physiognomy of the 1964 Kitty Genovese Murder" Space and Culture 14:3 (August 2011).

"The Physiognomic Turn," International Journal of Communication 4 (2010): 1-6.

"Trauma Training and the Reparative Work of Journalism." Cultural Studies 24:4 (2010).

"From Danger to Trauma: Affective Labor and the Journalistic Discourse of Witness." In Media Witnessing: Testimony in the Age of Mass Communication, ed. Paul Frosh and Amit Pinchevski. Palgrave Macmillan (2009), pp. 152-175.

"Sarah Palin, Sexual Anomalies and Historical Analogues." Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies 4:3 (November 2008)

"Risky Assignments: Sexing "Security" in Hostile Environment Reporting." Feminist Media Studies 7:3 (2007) 257-259.

"Victims' Rights and the Struggle over Crime and the Media." Canadian Journal of Communication, 31:2 (2007), 239-259.

She is the co-editor (with Carol Stabile) of a special issue of the NWSA Journal "States of Insecurity and the Gendered Politics of Fear."


A sample list of her other publications includes:

"Militarized Media at War and at Home" Communication Review 9:1 (Jan-March 2006), 143-154.

"Witnessing: U.S. Citizenship and the Vicarious Experience of Suffering" Media, Culture & Society 26:2 (March 2004), 296-304.

"Designing Fear: How Environmental Security Protects Property at the Expense of People" in Foucault, Cultural Studies and Governmentality, Eds. Jack Bratich, Jeremy Packer and Cameron McCarthy. Albany: SUNY Press (2003), 243-272.

"Women's Self-Defense: Physical Education for Everyday Life" Women's Studies Quarterly 26:1 (1999), 152-161.

 

Faculty page: 

Visit Professor Rentschler's faculty page here.

 

Personal website: 

Visit Professor Rentschler's personal website here.

Courses: 

Professor Rentschler teaches and writes in areas of cultural studies of journalism, feminist media studies, political theory, and the study of crime and violence. She also teaches feminist theory and methods.

Keywords: 

Cultural studies of journalism, crime and violence; feminist media studies.