Mystery and Detective Fiction

deadline for submissions: 
November 30, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Popular Culture Association (PCA/ACA) National Conference
contact email: 

The Mystery & Detective Fiction Area of the Popular Culture Association invites proposals for our annual conference to be held March 27-30, 2024, in Chicago, Illinois.

We seek proposals from educators, graduate students, and independent scholars for academic discussions on all aspects and periods of mystery and detective fiction, including history, criticism, and theory, as well as explorations of social justice, diversity, inclusivity, and other current trends in scholarship. We welcome a wide range of topics and approaches on writers and works ranging from classic to contemporary but ask that proposals go beyond plot summary to extend existing scholarship in new directions. Proposals should have a clear and focused argument that can be developed adequately in a 15-minute presentation.


We welcome proposals on the following:

  • Regional detective fiction set in or around Chicago, IL, our host city
  • Storytelling styles, stock characters, and tropes relevant to the genre
  • Issues concerning diversity and identity politics in mystery/detective fiction (e.g., race/ethnicity/class/age/gender/sexual orientation)
  • Subgenres (e.g., hardboiled detective fiction /cozy detective fiction)
  • Mystery and detection in film, television, theatre, computer games, etc.
  • Overlaps with other genres (e.g., horror, sci-fi, romance, dystopia, Westerns)
  • Mystery community culture (e.g., conferences, associations, forums, bookstores, listservs, author events, fandoms)


Please submit your 100- to 250-word abstract outlining both your object(s) of analysis and your primary argument. If you are a first-time presenter in our division (it does not need to be your first time presenting at PCA/ACA), please identify yourself with a note after your abstract. First-time presenters in Mystery & Detective Fiction are eligible for the Earl Bargainnier Award.


To submit:


To propose a panel, submit individual presentations, then email both area co-chairs with a request to be considered as a panel. PCA/ACA requires a minimum of four papers per panel. In your email, name all participants and briefly explain the thematic link between your papers.


Amy Hausser; Marla Harris