Sack Lunch Seminar: "Insane Love": Constructing Violence Narratives in the Press, 1910-1920
- Wednesday, April 12, 2017 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm
- Strand Union Building - view map
Sack Lunch Seminar, April 12, Noon- 1 p.m., SUB 168
“Insane Love”: Constructing Violence Narratives in the Press, 1910-1920—by Dr. Natalie Scheidler
As wife homicides became more numerous in Butte, Montana, in the 1910s, Butte headlines repeatedly turned to “Jealousy Cause,” “Mad Jealousy,” and “Jealous Husband” to account for the monstrous actions of husbands or ex-husbands. Focusing on this media generated narrative, Dr. Scheidler argue that while jealousy may have been a contributing factor in particular crimes, jealousy, as an explanation, was put forth as an understandable motive at particular times depending on beliefs about masculinity, femininity, marriage, and infidelity. Tracing the development of this narrative from the front page of the newspapers to its use in the courtroom in the 1920s, she further argues that the jealous husband narrative in Butte illustrates the power of reproduced narratives to construct the perpetrators they purport to describe. As witness testimony and case outcomes demonstrate, by the 1920s, the jealous husband narrative was no longer merely a media generated justification provided for general public consumption. Rather individuals came not only to believe in the narrative’s rationalization of male violence, they utilized it as a means to legally excuse those actions.