CFP: [International] Crime Cultures

full name / name of organization: 
Bran Nicol
contact email: 

Figuring Criminality in Literature, Media and Film

University of Portsmouth, UK
July 14th - 16th 2008

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

NICOLE RAFTER (Northeastern University)
LINDEN PEACH (Edge Hill University)

A conference on Crime Cultures is long overdue. Notions of criminality,
pathology and deviance are increasingly central to our understanding of
culture. From stalkers to serial killers, terrorists to ‘school shooters’,
violent crime seems one of the key symptoms of our age.

It’s therefore not surprising that the academic study of crime fiction has
been undergoing a resurgence in the 21st Century. Once considered a
marginal area of literary study, occupying a shadowy zone between literary
analysis ‘proper’ and ‘cultural studies’, crime fiction is now established
as something approaching a core subject on literature curricula, as well
as an expanding, exciting field of research. In film studies, crime cinema
is also a growth area, complementing more long-standing subjects such as
film noir.

This expansion, however, also means that the generic approach which has
traditionally governed academic approaches to crime fiction now seems too
constrained. The organizers of ‘Cultures of Crime’ invite papers and
panels which both incorporate and extend beyond established crime texts
and genres, exploring more broadly the intersection between crime and
culture. Contributors are encouraged to consider the significance of crime
in books and films not usually considered ‘crime fiction’, to re-assess
canonical crime texts, to analyse how culture ‘constructs’ crime and
criminals, or to examine how culture produces, shapes, appropriates or
mimics criminal behaviour.

Possible topics include:
* Figures of crime: iconic investigators and criminals, real or fictional
* Figuring crime: how notions of crime are used to understand culture
* Crime and fiction/film/culture
* Crime in fiction/film/culture
* Crime histories
* Theories of crime
* Aesthetic appropriations of crime
* Shifting demarcations of what constitutes crime
* Symptomatic contemporary crimes, eg. stalking, terrorism, gun massacre
* Postcolonial crime
* Political crimes and assassinations
* ‘True Crime’
* War crimes
* Gun culture

Papers will be welcomed from a range of disciplines, including (but not
limited to) literary and cultural studies, media studies, film studies,
modern languages, history, geography, sociology, criminology.

The conference will be organized to coincide with a special exhibition of
material from the vast Lancelyn Green archive, recently bequeathed to the
city of Portsmouth, which contains one of the largest collections of Conan
Doyle-related material in the world - books, films, pop culture ephemera,
letters and manuscripts, etc. - which will be of interest to academics in
a range of fields.

Proposals (200-300 words) for 20-minute presentations should be submitted
to the conference organizers Dr Bran Nicol, Dr Patricia Pulham, and Dr
Eugene McNulty, by no later than Friday 29th February 2008 via the
conference e-mail address: A registration form
will become available at about the same time. Please note AV requirements
and indicate if you would like the abstract to be considered for inclusion
in the post-conference publications.

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Received on Thu Aug 02 2007 - 06:36:12 EDT