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HBO's award-winning television series The Wire is about survival and about the strategies adopted by those living and working in the inner cities of America. It presents a world where for many even hope isn't an option, and where life operates as day-to-day existence without education, without job security, and without social structures. The Wire offers an exacting autopsy of a part of America that has never seen the inside of a Starbucks.
Over its five season run (200-2008), The Wire presents several overlapping narrative threads, all set in the city of Baltimore. The series consistently rewrites the conventional understanding of law, order, and disorder, offering a view of America that has never before been presented on American television.
This book examines the place of The wire within popular culture and its representation of inner city life in America today: from schools to the corners, from police to the courtroom, from honorable drug dealers to corrupt politicians. The brilliant collection of essays examines for the first time a show that has taken the art of television drama to new heights.
Tiffany Potter teaches English literature, and C.W. Marshall teaches Greek and Latin, at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada. The seventeen other contributors come from the United States, Canada, and Great Britain.
- Aafa Weaver, "Baltimore before The Wire"
- C.W. Marshall and Tiffany Potter, "'I am the AmericanDream': Modern Urban Tragedy and the Borders of Fiction"
A. Baltimore and its Institutions
- David Alff, "Yesterday's Tomorrow Today: Baltimore and the Promise of Reform"
- Peter Clandfield, "We ain't got no yard': Crime, Development and Urban Environment"
- Alisdair McMillan, "Heroism, Institutions, and the Police Procedural"
- Ryan Brooks, "Once That Tape Starts Rolling...': The Production of 'Real Police'"
- Lynne Viti, "I got the Shotgun, You got the Briefcase': Judging, Lawyering, and Ethics"
- Ralph Beliveau and Laura Bolf-Beliveau, "Posing Problems and Picking Fights: Critical Pedagogy and the Corner Boys"
B. In the Vacants
- James Peterson, "On the Corners of Black Masculinity: Hip Hop Culture and the Intersections of Inner City Manhood"
- Jason Read, "Stringer Bell's Lament: Violence and Legitimacy in Contemporary Capitalism"
- Stephen Lucasi, "Networks of (Af)filiation: Familialism and Anti-Corporatism"
- Courtney Marshall, "Barksdale Women: Crime, Empire, and the Production of Gender"
- Elizabeth Bonjean, "After the Towers Fell: Bodie Broadus and the Space of Memory"
C. Twenty-first Century Television
- Amanda Ann Klein, "The Dickensian Aspect': Melodrama, Viewer Engagement and the Socially Conscious Text"
- Ted Nannicelli, "'It's All Connected': Notes on the Teleplays"
- Kevin McNeilly, "Dislocating America: Agnieszka Holland Directs 'Moral Midgetry'"
- Kathleen LeBesco, "Social Justice and Audience Response to Omar Little"
Notes on Contributors