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Humphreys, Rebekah, Watson, Kate. The Killing Floor and Crime Narratives: Marking Women and Nonhuman Animals
2019, Kate Watson, Katharine Cox (eds.), Tattoos in crime and detective narratives, Manchester University Press, 170-196
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by: Rebekah Humphreys

This interdisciplinary chapter provides a literary reading and philosophical analyses of issues surrounding the depiction of women and of nonhuman animals in a subgenre of contemporary crime narratives – what this chapter terms ‘killing floor’ crime fiction. This is achieved through a focus on the function of the tattoo, ‘markings’ in a broad sense (both metaphorically and physically) and the gendered elements of animal representations in crime fiction. Through an analysis of the significance of marking skin, the chapter links the exploitation and objectification of the bodies of women and of nonhuman animals. In doing so, it compares the use of animals in modern-day killing floor practices and the position of women in contemporary crime fiction. Through forcible marking and scarification, this chapter raises pertinent interrelated ethical issues concerning the perceptions of women, their societal status and the commercial use of nonhuman animals.

Comment: Discusses links between the portrayal of animals of women in detective crime fiction, and relates to the work of Carol Adams and applies to modern-day practices that exploit animals.

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