Class and Culture in Contemporary Crime Fiction

full name / name of organization: 
Julie H. Kim / Northeastern Illinois University
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I have received a contract for a volume of critical/scholarly essays--currently titled Class and Culture in Contemporary Crime Fiction--from McFarland & Company. Through the same press I published in 2005 an edited volume on detective fiction titled Race and Religion in the Postcolonial British Detective Story and another in 2012 titled Murdering Miss Marple: Essays on Gender and Sexuality in the New Golden Age of Women's Crime Fiction. (This third volume, on class, will round out the trilogy of critical studies on detective fiction: race, gender, class.)

Please submit your abstract (250 words) and a brief cv by August 1, 2012, to be considered for this collection.


I am looking to put together 10-12 original essays (which I will edit and introduce) with the following (loosely defined) sub-categories, on works published since the mid-1970s:

1) Partners and Class:
 This section of 3-4 essays might study how, in some partnerships (especially British ones such as ones between Elizabeth George's Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers or between Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse and Sergeant Lewis), class differences take center stage in the interpersonal dynamics and, possibly, in the resolution of cases.

2) Gender and Class: Women detectives like P.D.James's Cordelia Gray, Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone, and Sara Paretsky's V.I. Warshawski (among others), find themselves treading carefully between their independence, their gender identities, and people of power and privilege they interact with, especially in the detecting profession traditionally viewed as masculine. This section on gender and class will cover 3-4 essays.

3) Race and Class: Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins, Barbara Neely's Blanche White, and Lucha Corpi's Gloria Damasco are just some examples of ways in which, especially in American detective fiction, issues of race and ethnicity collide with class in significant ways. The 3-4 essays in this section will analyze the intersection of race and class (and along with these, sometimes gender as well).

While Section 1 (on Partners and Class) is likely to be heavily British and Section 3 (on Race and Class) is likely to be mostly American in focus, I am open to other options and categories which invite new ways of looking at this topic and will select the most wide-ranging and diverse essay abstracts.

Please submit an abstract of 250 words by August 1, 2012 to