AU Press Releases

Communications studies professor publishes ‘Monstrous Crimes’

Pamela Schultz, professor of communication studies at Alfred University, has co-authored a book with John Douard titled  “Monstrous Crimes and the Failure of Forensic Psychiatry,” a volume focusing on the widely shared views of what are often considered “monstrous crimes.”

The book was published by Springer and is a volume of the Springer series The International Library of Ethics, Law and the New Medicine. The Springer website includes a description of the book:

Schultz  also has a chapter included in a book on moral panics being published at the end of January: Her chapter is titled "Revelation and cardinals’ sins: moral panic over ‘pedophile priests’ in the United States."

"Monstrous Crimes" addresses the ethical panic commonly evoked by sex offenses and provides an examination of the scientific background of forensic psychology and psychiatry, along with insight on the framing of the issues of public health and criminal behavior by the mass media.

By analyzing the metaphor of “monster,” commonly used to describe the worst criminal offenders, Douard and Schultz examine how this term is used to scapegoat certain categories of crimes and criminals as anxieties about our own potential to pursue deviant, and dangerous, activities.

Finally, Douard and Schultz analyze how psychiatry and psychology have categorized some criminal offenders as “mad” instead of “bad,” and thus condemns them to preventative “treatment” rather than legally justified “punishment.” Recent research focuses on the moral panic over child sexual abuse and sexual offenders, and its impact on law and public policy.

Schultz’s previous works have been published in many journals and publications, including “A Rhetoric of Retribution and Redemption: Burke’s Terms for Order in the Drama of Child Sexual Abuse” (2011) in the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, and “Scapegoating the Sex Offender-the Monstrous Other” (2011, with J. Douard) in Handbook of Sex Offender Treatment. Kingston, NJ: Civic Research Institute. Schultz's book "Not Monsters: Analyzing the Stores of Child Molesters" was published in 2005. Her recent research focuses on the moral panic over child sexual offenders, and its impact on law and public policy.

Schultz's teaching concentrations include public speaking, persuasion, interpersonal communication, public relations, organizational communication, gender communication, and communication ethics.

She earned a bachelor of arts degree in communication arts and English from Oakland University, Rochester, MI; a master of arts degree in mass communication from Bowling Green (Ohio) State University, and a Ph.D. in communication from Wayne State University, Detroit.