The Mysterious Mrs Christie: Evidence, Elusion, Afterlives

deadline for submissions: 
May 1, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
University of Exeter

A 1.5-day international conference at the University of Exeter and Exeter Library (UK)


12-13 September 2023



Keynote Speakers: Dr Mark Aldridge, Solent University and Prof. Michelle M. Kazmer, Florida State University


2023 marks fifty years since the last novel Agatha Christie wrote, Postern of Fate, was published. By 1973, Christie was already established as the world’s bestselling novelist, and her popularity has only risen in subsequent years. In addition, a flame of scholarly interest has ignited and grown. The quintessential mystery writer, creator of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, is now also a legitimate figure in academic research.


It is tempting to think that the there are no Agatha Christie mysteries left. Few writers have received such levels of popular scrutiny and her life and work have been approached from a range of angles. Millions of words have been written about this significant body of work. Recent or anticipated works such as Lucy Worsley’s Agatha Christie, Nina de Gramot’s The Christie Affair, and Mark Aldridge’s Agatha Christie’s Marple attest to the mainstream dissemination of detailed archival research and unconventional approaches. However, mysteries remain. As Worsley notes in her recent biography of Christie, she is ‘a very elusive woman’.


For the seventh international Agatha Christie conference, we are seeking research and/or creative papers that consider underexplored aspects of Christie’s work, life, and legacies.  These could be neglected topics/areas or reflections on critical conversations which could use a new perspective.


Potential topics may include but are certainly not limited to:


  • Across and beyond genre
  • Afterlives and adaptations
  • Character studies
  • Christie and creative writing
  • Christie in an international context
  • Colonialism and racism
  • Continuations and tributes
  • Creative legacies
  • Ecology and the environment
  • Ethical considerations
  • Gender, sex, and sexuality
  • Gothic and the supernatural
  • Life writing and autobiography
  • Mary Westmacott
  • New theoretical frameworks
  • Place, space, and time
  • Plays and dramatisations
  • Religion and theology
  • Radio and the BBC
  • Short stories
  • Teaching and pedagogy


Please submit a short (up to 200 words) abstract for a 20-minute presentation and a brief biographical note to no later than 1 May 2023. You may direct queries to the same address.


Please note that speakers will be expected to register for the conference at the 1.5-day rate of £115.


Conference organisers: Dr Mia Dormer, Dr J.C. Bernthal, Sarah Martin, and Dr Stefano Serafini.