CfP: "Protect and Serve": Crime Fiction and Community
10 July 2015
University of Edinburgh, UK
Confirmed keynote speakers:
Professor Mary Evans (London School of Economics)
Professor Gill Plain (University of St Andrews)
“Protect and Serve”: Crime Fiction and Community
From Poe’s ‘Murders in the Rue Morgue’ to Chester Himes’s ‘Harlem Domestic’ series, from Maigret’s Paris to The Wire’s Baltimore, place and space have always featured importantly in detective fiction. So, too, has the detective’s relationship with the city in which she or he investigates, navigating landscapes of high rises and high finance and everything in between. But what of the people who populate these spaces and shape the psychic landscape? “Protect and Serve”: Crime Fiction and Community’ is a one-day symposium that seeks to explore how notions of community figure in crime fiction. How does crime fiction conceive of the relationship between ‘community’ and police? What roles do class, race, and gender play in this relationship? Does the nature of this relationship change according to setting? Do urban or rural environments, for example, make an impact? What other parameters influence this relationship?
Recent events such as the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Missouri — and the community demonstrations that followed it — raise pressing questions: what is the nature of the relationship between police and community? How do members of a community understand this relationship? How do police?
We invite papers and presentations from a variety of disciplinary and comparative perspectives that respond to these questions — and the notion of community more broadly — in the context of European and global crime fiction, with an emphasis on Anglophone and Francophone narratives. This event is open to academic researchers, activists, and practitioners at any stage of their career, though we particularly encourage submissions from postgraduate and early-career researchers.
The following is an indicative, but by no means exhaustive, selection of the kinds of issues we hope to address:
- The detective / police officer and the crime space
- Neighbourhood communities
- Racism and racial profiling
- Class, race, gender and intersections thereof
- Family, friendship, loyalty
- Masculinity / femininity
- LGBTQ communities
- Community- and family-liaison officers
- Informants and black markets
- ‘Undercover’ work
- Popular fiction, TV and film
- Grassroots activism
- Gangs and organised crime
- Sex work and sex workers
- Eco-activism / eco-terrorism
- Police precincts / Préfecture de police
Please send proposals of no more than 350 words detailing your topic, along with a brief bio, to firstname.lastname@example.org by 6 January 2015. You can also submit abstracts through the online submission form on our website: crimefictionandcommunity.weebly.com.