[UPDATE] CFP: Aesthetics and Victorian/Edwardian Detective Fiction (9/29/13; collection)
Please send essays for a book collection which examines detective/mystery fiction in terms of form, style and aestheticism: the basic relationship between the detective's art and the contemporary aesthetic culture. This scholarly collection is to be published by Ibidem Press, Germany, and distributed in the US by Columbia University Press. The publication will be a revised and expanded edition of Ibidem's previously published Formal Investigations: Aesthetic Style in Late-Victorian and Edwardian Detective Fiction (Studies in English Literatures 4, www.ibidemverlag.de/Series/Studies-in-English-Literatures).
The period under study would be 1878 (the date of the publication of R. L. Stevenson's The Suicide Club) to 1911 (the publication date of G. K. Chesterton's first Father Brown collection.) This period covers such mystery writers as Shiel, Machen, Blackwood, Hornung and, of course, Conan Doyle.
In recent years there has been a growing critical interest in the literary detective, and a number of recent studies have examined the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century sleuth from a variety of theoretical perspectives: Foucauldian, feminist, post-colonial and post-structuralist. Cultural historians examine the period and the detective in terms of empire, gender, social authority and scientific developments in criminology. Little is said of the relationship between late Victorian and Edwardian detective fiction in terms of style, the art of detection and the question of contemporary aesthetic theory.
Possible general topics of consideration:
- Aestheticism and the detective
- The intersection of art and science in criminology
- The formal art and style of mystery fiction
- Crime as an art (as suggested by Wilde's "Pen, Pencil and Poison")
- The journalistic art of reporting crime (The Yellow Press, W. T. Stead etc.)
- Renditions of "decadence" as social, as artistic, as criminal
All theoretical positions are welcome. Authors must hold PhDs. Essays are expected to be maximally 20 pages in length excluding footnotes. Secondary source material is expected. Submissions addressing authors not already listed in the Table of Contents (available here: http://www.amazon.com/Formal-Investigations-Aesthetic-Late-Victorian-Lit...) will be preferred.
Please send 1-2 page abstracts by September 29th to Dr. Paul Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org. Final drafts of accepted essays are due by December 8th, 2013.