Postcolonial Crime Narratives as Social Critique

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
(NeMLA 2023)
contact email: 

NeMLA Annual Convention (Niagara Falls, NY; 23-26 March 2023)

Postcolonial Crime Narratives as Social Critique (Panel)

Postcolonial writers have recently been using detective and crime fiction as effective instruments of socio-political critique, using the genre to address issues of class, race, and gender, expose corruption, and explore the nature of prejudice. Lee Horsley has drawn attention to the genre’s adaptability as ‘the perfect vehicle for social and political criticism (158). Writing specifically on postcolonial crime narratives, Stephen Knight notes that “powerful novels have used crime fiction patterns to criticize the present racial oppression either in formerly colonial states or in modern countries with tensions developed by immigration” and “other writers have spoken up for empire, settler culture or even modern forms of touristic neocolonialism” (166). The inclusion of postcolonial stories from cities in the Global South in the Akashic Noir series (Lagos Noir and Mumbai Noir, for instance) further reveals how crime narratives are used to dramatize and criticize postcolonial conditions. It also shows that the genre’s rapid evolution finds expression in postcolonial spaces. This panel, thus, welcomes papers that contribute to mapping the evolving field of postcolonial crime fiction (studies). Topics may include, but are not restricted to:

· Victims and Perpetrators

· Postcolonial Slums and Crime

· Women and Crime Narratives

· Movie Adaptations

· Madness and Criminality in Postcolonial Spaces

· Crime Fiction in Times of National Trauma

· Post-Apartheid Crime Narratives

· Postcolonial Media and Detection

· Space in Postcolonial Crime Narratives

Submit your abstract to NeMLA at View Session ( by September 30. Send questions to the panel chair at