CFP: Aesthetics and Victorian/Edwardian Detective Fiction (4/23/06; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Paul Fox
contact email: 

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.
        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. 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.
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
The collection will be published by Ibidem Press as
part of their Studies in English Literatures series.
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.
Please send 2-3 pp. abstracts and an additional
writing sample (article, book chapter, dissertation
extract) by April 23rd to Paul Fox at

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Received on Sat Mar 04 2006 - 15:03:49 EST