UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies


Seminar: Prof. Stella Bruzzi - Evidence as narrative: the law as new media entertainment

Start: Dec 06, 2017 04:00 PM

Location: UCL Malet Place Engineering building, room 1.2

6th December 2017, starting at 16:30, with tea and coffee available from 16:00.


UCL Malet Place Engineering building, room 1.2, starting at 16:30, with tea and coffee available from 16:00.


In our era of ‘post-truth’ politics, we are witnessing a dramatic resurgence of interest in the law, and more specifically, the unanticipated entertainment value of the detailed dissection of past trials or ‘cold’ cases in long running series such as The Jinx (2015), Making a Murderer (2015) and The Keepers (2017), and podcasts such as Serial (2014), S-Town (2017) and Missing Richard Simmons (2017). These have become global phenomena and proved compulsive viewing and listening the world over. At a time when evidence is being belligerently ignored by the US presidency, US media in particular has become transfixed by the factual potency as well as entertainment value of legal evidence, from older series such as The Staircase (2004) to both the fictionalised (The People vs. OJ Simpson [2016]) and the documentary (O.J: Made in America [2016]) reiterations of O.J.’s 1995 trial for double homicide.

About the speaker

Stella is Dean of the Arts and Humanities Faculty at University College London. She became a Fellow of the British Academy in 2013 and from 2017—2020 will serve on its Council. Prior to joining UCL in 2017, she spent 10 years at the University of Warwick where she was Head of the Department of Film and Television Studies (2006—2008), before becoming Chair of the Faculty of Arts (2008—2011), stepping down to embark upon a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2011—2014). She has published widely, primarily in the areas of documentary, costume and fashion, and cinema and gender, and her books include New Documentary, Undressing Cinema, Bringing Up Daddy, Men’s Cinema and Seven Up. Her doctoral thesis was on trials in film, theatre and television and, as part of the Leverhulme project – Approximation: Documentary, History and the Staging of Reality – she has re-engaged with that interest in the law.

STS research seminars

The purpose of this series is to provide colleagues with an opportunity to present their latest research results and discuss them within a collegial atmosphere. 

STS research seminars are open to scholars from any academic field. These normally are research intensive, specialised events, of interest specifically to scholars in the discipline. More upcoming talks in the STS research seminar series are listed in the STS calendar (link).