Outlander as Crime Fiction EXTENDED AND UPDATED

deadline for submissions: 
June 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Erin E. MacDonald, Ph.D.
contact email: 

Outlander as Crime Fiction: Murder and Mystery in the Outlander and Lord John Series (Edited Collection)

Update: I'm looking for one or two more proposals for this collection. Contributor must have a Ph.D. Please feel free to contact me if you want to discuss an idea before submitting a proposal. At this point, I only need one paragraph describing your general topic/idea. Completed essays will not be due until at least fall 2021. 

Erin E. MacDonald, Ph.D., Edgar Award Nominee, Fanshawe College www.erinemacdonald.com 

            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. Both the Outlander books and TV series 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 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, and do not need to cover the entire series. You may write on one story, novel, or episode, or as many different works as you like. 

Possible Topics:  Choose one or propose your own idea: anything to do with crime or mystery in the Outlander novels/stories, the TV series, or the Lord John series.

Victims and Perpetrators: Women and Crime 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

Essay length: approximately 15-20 pages

Style: Avoid using an overabundance of jargon- or theory-heavy language, as the book is meant to appeal to both academics and a wider audience. 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 eem@sympatico.ca by June 15, 2021