CFP for essays for edited collection: Crossroads of Crime Writing: Historical, Sociological and Cultural Contexts/Intersections/Perspectives

deadline for submissions: 
November 1, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Meghan P. Nolan & Rebecca Martin
contact email: 

This volume, which will be proposed to a leading independent academic publisher, seeks to explore the implications of crime writing in its narrative forms through essays that situate orientations fictional and non-fictional, past and present in relation to public perspectives. Just as real crime has served as inspiration for fictional accounts, Kieran Dolin reminds us in Fiction and the Law that crime literature has long influenced popular understanding of social institutions as well. And so, we are not only interested in offering a comprehensive overview of crime writing in its diverse forms, but in examining how writing about crime simultaneously reflects temporal biases and influences popular conceptions of politics, the law, psychology, the self, and more.

We invite essays that provide new insights into the works of significant authors, series or sub-genres of crime literature that we once thought we knew and/or examine the intersections of the real and fictional within the broader genre of Crime Writing in meaningful ways. Contributors are encouraged to dissect the historical, cultural, and/ or sociological significance of crime fiction, as well as examine how such works influence true crime writing or vice versa. Possible essay topics could include (but are not limited to) the following:


  • The History/Genesis of Mystery/ Crime Writing and/ or its Structure or TenetsThe Nineteenth-Century Police Force and the Detective Novel
  • Intersections between the Real and Fictional in Historical Crime Novels
  • British Aesthetic vs. American Hardboiled CrimeThe Dime Novel and/or Early Hardboiled Fiction
  • The Police Procedural and Popular Culture
  • Historical Mystery as a Means of Contextualizing the Current
  • Crime Writing and Gender Roles
  • Racial Consciousness and Detection
  • Socio-economics of Crime and Detection
  • Socio-political Readings of the Gentleman Detective and/ or Hardboiled Detective
  • Cross-Dressing and/or Queering in Mysteries
  • LGBTQ+ Portrayals in Mysteries
  • Intersections between Detective Film and Literature
  • Exploring Law through Literature/ Legal Thrillers
  • Lawyers and the Courtroom Drama
  • The Serial Killer and Contemporary Culture
  • Holmesian Influence/ Pervasiveness in Western Culture
  • American Realism in Crime Writing
  • Capers/The Criminal Mind
  • Crime Fiction’s Influence on Journalistic Reporting/ True Crime
  • (Neo)Gothic or (Neo)Victorian Sensation Novels

Please email 500-word abstracts along with a 200-word  biographical statement to Meghan P. Nolan ( by November 1st, 2020.

The deadline for selected essays of 5000-7000 words is April 2021.