The Detectives: critical essays on select English and Bengali detective fiction

deadline for submissions: 
October 15, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Dr Debayan Deb Barman, Assistant Professor and Head, THLH Mahavidyalay

Call for Papers


Edited volume



 The Detectives: critical essays on select English and Bengali detective fiction


To be edited by Dr Debayan Deb Barman, Assistant Professor and Head, Department of English,  THLH Mahavidyalay, (University of Burdwan),

Mallarpur, Dist- Birbhum,

 West Bengal, India.



Concept note


In the popular fiction genre, the appeal and attraction of the reader is paramount and consistent. The event of crime and the solving of it through what the father of detective fiction Edgar Allen Poe called "ratiocination" is a result of the paradigm shift towards empiricism, the faculty of thinking and reasoning under influence of the Cartesian and Enlightenment tradition. Later with the advancements in psychoanalysis following Freud which probed into the inner workings of the human mind and forensic science with its back-tracing and interpretation of hidden physiological and spatial evidence further propelled the development and popularity of crime fiction, especially detective fiction and also derivatives like police procedurals, American hard boil fiction, espionage, sensational and crime thrillers. During the flourish of British classic detective fiction master story plotters set it to the highest benchmark. This influenced and inspired later fiction. The genre also saw adaptations and re-presentation in film and television with equal popularity.


In India, during British colonization, especially in the Bengal presidency, cultural transmission acted as a catalyst for the production and popular reception of imitative detective fiction in the early years and later subversion and appropriation through intelligent weavings of indigenous cultural nuances and traditions, thus manifesting a postcolonial approach. 


In the above context the edited volume will include critical essays probing in between lines of the fiction text. Paper contributors will have to send papers inquiring through critical/theoretical readings into issues which are form based, class based, social, political, cultural, economic, psychological, gender based, language/linguistic or any other relevant angle which may arise from readings. The crime fiction/detective fiction genre is too vast to be captured in the ambit of one book, with sub genres like.Thus, the edition will adopt a more concentrated approach with the study of select texts/authors.

The detectives in English and American fiction selected for the edited volume are Wilkie Collins,

 Edgar Allen Poe,Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie,

 Dorothy L Sayers,P D James,HDF Keating, Josephine Tey,

Margery Allingham, Raymond Chandler, and Dashiell Hammett.

The Bengali detectives selected for study are Priyonath Chattopadhyay,

Girish Chandra Basu, Kaliprasanna Chattopadhyay, Panchkori Dey, Mihir Kumar Sinha, Dinendra Kumar Ray, Nihar Ranjan Gupta Saradindu Bandyopadhyay,Satyajit Ray, Sunil Gangopadhyay and Suchitra Bhattacharya.

The aim of the book is to give a broad and comparative perspective on the genre of English detective fiction and since the process of colonization had a  pronounced and sustained influence on Bengali detective fiction, a critical inquiry into it. 


Slots open for P D James, HDF Keating, 

Margery Allingham, Dashiell Hammett, Priyonath Chattopadhyay,

Girish Chandra Basu, Kaliprasanna Chattopadhyay, Panchkori Dey, Mihir Kumar Sinha, Nihar Ranjan Gupta,  Sunil Gangopadhyay.



Submission guidelines


Abstracts in 250 words in Times New Roman 12 font and 5 keywords to be sent along with a brief bio note as a single attachment to be sent.


 Abstract should mention author's name, designation/affiliation, name of institution and email below the keywords.


Full papers should be in MLA 7th edition, Times New Roman 12 font, 1.5 line spacing, justified, and with endnotes only (no footnotes). Any copyright issues need to be cleared by the contributor with NOC from the original owner and  submitted along with the full paper. A declaration of originality has to be submitted. 

Word limit is 5000 words inclusive of reference and bibliography.




Submission of Abstract: 15 October 2020



The edited volume will be published from a national/international level publisher in India with ISBN.