Documenting the paedophile: virtual white men in the era of recovered memory

New Formations - ISSN 0950-2378
Volume 2010 Number 70

Documenting the paedophile: virtual white men in the era of recovered memory
Gillian Harkins pages -


‘Documenting the Paedophile: Virtual White Men in the Era of Recovered Memory’ argues that Andrew Jarecki’s 2003 documentary Capturing the Friedmans is part of a larger recent film trend in which remembered scenes of adult/child sex are used to reconfigure the meaning of white masculinity. In several recent films, memories of child sexual predators emerge on screen in scenes best described as ‘virtual’. In particular, the white paedophile appears in liminal filmic spaces that replace historically specific reference points with the virtual codes of an explicitly technologically mediated reality. Building on theories of virtuality developed by Katherine Hayles and Brian Massumi, this essay argues that the white paedophile technologically re-mediates residual forms of white masculinity and refunctions them for the era of neo-liberalism. Jarecki’s Oscar-nominated documentary best reveals the technological relations through which the white paedophile appears as the virtual image of a neoliberal ‘real’, part of a visual code of memory produced for what Stuart Hall calls new times.

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To cite this article
Gillian Harkins (2010) Documenting the paedophile: virtual white men in the era of recovered memory, New Formations, 2010(70), -

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