Streghe, avvelenatrici, assassine: donne a giudizio, tra stereotipi culturali e fallacie cognitive

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Through an analysis of Susan Glaspell’s “A Jury of Her Peers” and Daphne du Maurier’s “My Cousin Rachel”, regarded in comparison with the ‘classical’ model of the detective story (Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes), this essay deals, from a Law & Literature perspective, with issues of misogynistic prejudice and discrimination, and how they may affect the administration of justice. The first section (“Travelling without Maps: The Blind Detective”) is mainly focused on Glaspell’s text and analyzes how cultural prejudice – and particularly prejudice against women – can influence investigations by making men blind to clues and evidence which are, instead, perfectly visible and understandable to women; the concepts of deduction and abduction are explored, in relation with cultural biases which my affect the reasoning of the ‘detective’. This analysis then continues in section two (“Travelling with One Map: The Prejudiced Judge”), which is devoted to du Maurier’s novel, by exploring how the same cultural biases may lead to a hasty and wrong identification of the ‘culprit’ and even, eventually, to a prejudiced and unfair ‘conviction’; in particular, the importance of adopting a ‘dialectical’ approach to evidence research and evaluation in criminal proceedings – as well as the huge risk, otherwise, of a miscarriage of justice – is stressed. Finally, section three (“Rewriting the Maps: Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?”) briefly deals with the question whether ‘gender-related privileges’ should be introduced into a legal system in order to counterbalance still flourishing patriarchal social prejudices.
Titolo tradotto del contributo[Autom. eng. transl.] Witches, poisoners, murderers: women in judgment, between cultural stereotypes and cognitive fallacies
Lingua originaleItalian
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteGiustizia e letteratura II
Numero di pagine41
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2014


  • Criminal Law
  • Daphne du Maurier
  • English Literature
  • Law and Literature
  • Susan Glaspell
  • abduction
  • abduzione
  • criminal investigation
  • criminal procedure
  • diritto penale
  • discrimination
  • discriminazione
  • gender issues
  • giudizio
  • giustizia e letteratura
  • indagine penale
  • judgment
  • letteratura inglese
  • politiche di genere
  • pregiudizio
  • prejudice
  • processo penale


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