Crime and Media conference to be held at ISU

September 20, 2011

The Indiana State University department of criminology and criminal justice will host its third annual International Crime, Media and Popular Culture Studies Conference from Sept. 26-28.

New to the conference this year will be a panel discussion and an award-winning, one-woman show, both of which will be free and open to the public.

Experts participating in the panel discussion will focus on "The Depiction of Terrorism in the Decade Following 9/11," and will feature leading criminologists and experts including Mark Hamm from Indiana State University, Gregg Barak from Eastern Michigan University, Gary Potter from Eastern Kentucky University, Mitchel Roth from Sam Houston State University and Raymond Surette from the University of Central Florida. This event will be held in University Hall Theater beginning at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26.

"Snapshot: A True Story of Love Interrupted by Invasion," was written and will be performed by Carmen Mitzi Sinnott. The play explores the forces of history, race, mental health issues and war by bringing to life the true story of one biracial daughter's journey to find her father that has been missing in her life since the Vietnam War. The performance will be held in the University Hall Theater beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27; doors open at 6 p.m.

Frank Wilson, conference founder and assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice at ISU, encourages the public to attend both events.

"This group of experts will provide the general public with an alternate way of viewing and understanding how terrorism has been depicted in the decade following 9/11 and how other forms of terrorism are never depicted," Wilson said. "The one-woman show will address issues that we will be facing with our returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. It addresses mental health issues and race issues as well."

Wilson expects this year's conference to be the biggest yet.

"We have 25 panels, 61 presentations, 70 presenters, six featured speakers, over 60 universities, and approximately 15 countries represented this year. We invite all ISU faculty and students to attend the featured speaker sessions and panel sessions." Wilson said.

Wilson started the conference at Indiana State after conducting a similar conference at the University of Central Missouri.

"When I interviewed with ISU, the chair of the department of criminology and criminal justice at the time asked that I bring the conference to Indiana State University," Wilson said. "Until I founded the conference, there was no place for researchers to gather and strictly focus on this topical area in the United States."

According to Wilson, studying crime and popular culture is beneficial to everyone.

"More often than not, crime and crime issues are extremely over-represented in the media which leads to increased fears of crime and can subsequently lead to support for harsher crime control policies," Wilson said.

As a criminologist, Wilson and other experts examine a variety of issues not the least of which is actual crime rates versus what is portrayed in the media.

"Therefore, criminologists have an obligation to attempt to curtail mediated exaggerations of crime threats, crime rates, and the overall belief that we need harsher crime control policies," Wilson said.

With limited funding, Wilson reached out to the department of criminal justice at Eastern Kentucky University to help sponsor this year's event.

"The conference has been enormously successful," Wilson said. "It has provided ISU not only nationwide and international recognition, but has also provided the university with a glimpse into modern day criminology. It brings in leading minds in the field that students at other universities may never be exposed to."

For more information or to register for the conference, visit http://www.indstate.edu/ccj/popcultureconference/. The entire conference is free to ISU students who show their IDs during registration.

Photos:
http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/Other/Media-Services/Criminology-Conference-2011/19122584_Rxn47W#1489011607_P4vQNRH
Carmen Mitzi Sinnott performs her one-woman show "Snapshot: A True Story of Love Interrupted by Invasion." The performance will be held in the University Hall Theater beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27; doors open at 6 p.m. for this free performance. Courtesy photo.

http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/Other/Media-Services/Criminology-Conference-2011/19122584_Rxn47W#1489011531_JG8qsMH
The 2010 International Crime, Media and Popular Culture Studies Conference is free for students with identification to attend.

Writer: Britany Dean, ISU media relations assistant, at bdean7@sycamores.indstate.edu

Contact: Frank Wilson, ISU department of criminology and criminal justice, at fwilson2@indstate.edu.