Date of Paper/Work
Master of Arts in English (M.A.)
Type of Paper/Work
Dr. Chris Santiago, Salvatore Pane, Dr. Laura Zebuhr
In 1966, legal scholar Charles Reich published his influential article "Police Questioning of Law Abiding Citizens," a criticism of the increasingly aggressive policing and surveillance of public spaces. Reich believed traffic stops, in particular, posted a threat to the sense of liberty, mobility, and "high spirits" that characterized American in the age of the automobile. Fifty years later, Philando Castile was pulled over, wrongfully suspected of a robbery, and shot dead in his car. The ensuing investigation into Castile's personal life and unusually public death raises questions about our rights to privacy in our cars - and in the public sphere generally. Meanwhile, artist and car enthusiast Frank Ocean suggests that notions of queerness and self-identity are intimately tied to the ambiguous space of the automobile. Together, these three cases complicate the traditional distinction between public and private spaces, a distinction that cars blur on a daily basis.
Literature, rap, music, cars, police, brutality, privacy
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Santos, Jon, "Driving Home: Frank Ocean, Philando Castile, and the Death of Privacy" (2019). English Master's Essays. 14.