© 2020

Criminal Anthroposcenes

Media and Crime in the Vanishing Arctic


Part of the Palgrave Studies in Crime, Media and Culture book series (PSCMC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Anita Lam, Matthew Tegelberg
    Pages 1-22
  3. Anita Lam, Matthew Tegelberg
    Pages 107-143
  4. Anita Lam
    Pages 243-252
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 253-260

About this book


This book compares and contrasts traditional crime scenes with scenes of climate crisis to offer a more expansive definition of crime which includes environmental harm. The authors reconsider what crime scenes have always included and might come to include in the age of the Anthropocene – a new geological era where humans have made enough significant alterations to the global environment to warrant a fundamental rethinking of human-nonhuman relations. In each of the chapters, the authors reframe enduringly popular Arctic scenes, such as iceberg hunting, cruising and polar bear watching, as specific criminal anthroposcenes. By reading climate scenes in this way, the authors aim to productively deploy the representation of crime to make these scenes more engaging to policymakers and ordinary viewers. Criminal Anthroposcenes brings together insights from criminology, climate change communication, and tourism studies in order to study the production and consumption of media representations of Arctic climate change in the hope of to mobilizing more urgent public and policy responses to climate change.


green criminology tourism studies environmental communication environmental studies crime and media environmental crime cultural criminology environmental harm criminology and tourism dark tourism climate change crime scene

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social ScienceYork UniversityTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Social ScienceYork UniversityTorontoCanada

About the authors

Anita Lam is Associate Professor of Criminology at York University, Canada. Her research has appeared in Time & Society, Law Text Culture, Canadian Journal of Law and Society, and in several edited collections.

Matthew Tegelberg is Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Science at York University, Canada. He is a research associate with MediaClimate, an international network of researchers that have been studying global climate change communication since 2009.

Bibliographic information


“Lam has produced a tour de force in an emerging criminology in the age of the Anthropocene. Her accomplishment conjures up terms like ‘eloquence’,’ innovative’, ‘transformative’, and ‘epiphany’; a criminology of earthlings as actants entangled in ‘cascading effects’;  thank you, Anita Lam, for nurturing a new, and much needed, criminological imagination” (Professor Clifford Shearing, Universities of Cape Town, Griffith and Montreal) 

“This is a ground-breaking book. Drawing authoritatively and creatively on a range of cultural and social theories, it connects two seemingly disparate issues: climate change and crime scenes. We are given the unexpected but compelling argument that a noir aesthetic born in 19th century crime scene photography has come to shape our visual imaginary of climate crisis: a criminal ‘Anthroposcene’. Rigorously applying cultural analysis and environmental studies this work expands the vision of a Green Criminology, providing us new theoretical and methodological tools to see, and act on ecological catastrophe” (Professor Sarah Armstrong, University of Glasgow)