Crime Fiction Studies Volume 1, Issue 2: Memory, History, Nostalgia

deadline for submissions: 
June 30, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Crime Fiction Studies

We are delighted to announce the call for papers for the second issue of the Edinburgh University Press journal Crime Fiction Studies, the newest addition to EUP’s stable of prestigious journals.

This CFP is for a themed issue, edited by Eric Sandberg, dealing with crime fiction’s complex and varying engagement with questions of memory, history, and nostalgia. As Tzvetan Todorov argued in “The Typology of Detective Fiction,” crime fiction in many of its various sub-forms has a special relationship with the past. In classic forms of detective fiction, the central event around which the narrative is organized – the murder – occurs in pre-narrated time, while the story of the investigation is little more than a form of narrative archeology, an excavation of a mysterious past event than is only accessible through reconstruction in the present. But the relationship between crime fiction and the past goes beyond narrative structure. The central characters of crime writing – its investigative figures – are frequently represented as haunted by their memories, living out their lives in the shadow of past traumas. More broadly, crime writing is frequently described as exhibiting a nostalgic orientation towards the past, and this longing for the restoration of an imagined prelapsarian Golden Age is part of the reason it has been association with social and political conservatism. On the other hand, there is a strong tradition of radical crime fiction that looks to the past not for comfort and stability, but in order to challenge historical myths and collective fantasies of a past of unity, order, and security.

Crime fiction’s relationship with the past is thus inherently complex, and represents a fascinating, underexplored focus for critical work. We are looking for submissions that explore some of the many different ways crime fiction shapes and is shaped by its view of the past, by history, and by nostalgia within specific crime narratives and the works of individual authors, but also within subgenres and within crime fiction as a whole. We expect contributions to be theoretically and critically informed, and to engage with current scholarly debates in the field.

Possible areas of focus include, but are not limited to:

  • Historical crime fiction
  • Gender and the past
  • Crime fiction and trauma (personal and collective)
  • Collective memory
  • Revisionist crime fiction
  • Narrative approaches to the past
  • Investigators, criminals, witnesses and the past
  • Re-Imagining/re-writing crime fiction
  • Neo-historical crime fiction
  • World crime fiction and the past
  • Nostalgia and place/setting
  • Landscape and the rural/or the urban
  • Representations of the family
  • ‘Gentle’ crime fiction
  • Racial relations (e.g. colonization and/or the ‘whiteness’ of classic crime fiction)
  • Anti-nostalgic crime fiction

Abstracts of no more than 400 words are due by 30 June 2019 and finished articles of approximately 7000 words will be due by 30 November 2019. The issue will be published in September 2020.

Please send abstracts and a short biographical statement to the editors: Fiona Peters (editor), Ruth Heholt (assistant editor), and Eric Sandberg (assistant editor) at crimefictionstudies@gmail.com.