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Gossip, Letters, PhonesThe Scandal of Female Networks in Film and Literature$
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Ned Schantz

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195335910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195335910.001.0001

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The Space of Crime

The Space of Crime

(p.96) CHAPTER 5 The Space of Crime
Gossip, Letters, Phones

Ned Schantz (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers how a cultural insistence on confined space emerges in direct proportion to the manifest range or intensity of female networking. Beginning with the tradition of the locked room mystery and its disturbing misogynistic tendencies, the chapter analyses the isolating effects of technologies from telephones to e-mail when deployed in the name of romance or safety. A brief philosophical detour yields a curious opportunity in the epistemology of artificial intelligence as established by the so-called Turing Test, where the locked room required by the test’s controls creates an unanticipated space of gender ambiguity and desire. This dynamic returns in the pseudonymous e-mail choreography of You’ve got Mail, only to be shut down by gothic forces in thin disguise. The chapter comes finally to consider the gendered inversion of space in Bound as an impressive, if still troubling, escape from the space of crime.

Keywords:   space, crime, locked room, telephones, artificial intelligence, Turing Test, e-mail, You’ve Got Mail, Bound

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