Outlander as Crime Fiction (Edited Collection)
Outlander as Crime Fiction: Murder and Mystery in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander and Lord John Series (Edited Collection)
Erin E. MacDonald, Fanshawe College
Most people have heard of the wildly popular STARZ television series Outlander, and the series of books by Diana Gabaldon upon which it is based. However, both series are often mistakenly labelled as romances, despite the author’s attempts to recategorize her novels. Although they do contain elements of romance, they also include time travel; social, political, and military history; and a great deal of crime. The Outlander books are rife with rape, theft, and murder, and the spinoff Lord John series of novels and stories always involves John Grey in a mystery that, it seems, only he can solve. Other works have been written about the romantic, historical, science fiction, and fantasy elements in Gabaldon’s writings, but none has focused on the volume and scope of their numerous crime fiction aspects or on the fact that Lord John acts as an amateur sleuth in every work in which he appears. This collection of 10-12 accessible yet scholarly essays will highlight the mystery and crime elements of both series, exploring their connections and comparisons to more traditional crime fiction and providing unique insights into Gabaldon’s treatment of crime in the eighteenth century. Essays may take a literary, historical, cultural studies, gender/queer studies, popular culture, or interdisciplinary approach.
Possible Topics: Choose one or propose your own idea.
Murder vs. War: Violent Death in the Outlander Novels
Outlander and Sexual Assault: Historical and Modern Perspectives
Crimes Against Humanity: The Representation of Empire Building in Outlander
The Minority Detective in 18th Century England: Sir John Fielding and Lord John Grey
Diana Gabaldon’s Depictions of Crime and the Night Watch in The Big Smoke
Gay/Queer Detectives in Fiction: Comparing Lord John Grey
Mystery and the Supernatural in the Outlander and Lord John Series
From Lads to Lairds: Crime and Class in Diana Gabaldon’s Works
Murder for the Good: Is it Still Murder When Our Heroes Kill?
Essay length: approximately 15-20 pages
Style: Avoid using jargon- or theory-heavy language, as the book is meant to appeal to both academics and a wider audience. A concise style of writing will be preferred. Please use MLA documentation format.
If you are interested in contributing to this collection, please send a 300 word abstract, a proposed chapter title, and a short bio (100 words) as an email-attachment to email@example.com by March 15, 2021.