PCA/ACA

Mystery & Detective Fiction

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Accepts undergraduate submissions

The Mystery & Detective Fiction Area of the Popular Culture Association invites proposals for our annual conference. 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, including texts set in or around Seattle, WA
  • Storytelling styles, stock characters, and tropes relevant to the genre (e.g., individual mysteries compared to series, long-term storyarcs)
  • Axes of diversity and identity politics in mystery/detective fiction (e.g., race/ethnicity/class/gender/sexual orientation)
  • Critical race theory and other approaches that interrogate marginalization
  • Various subgenres (e.g., hardboiled detective fiction /cozy detective fiction)
  • Mystery and detection on film (including film noir, horror, romance)
  • Overlaps with other genres (e.g., horror, romance, dystopia, Westerns)
  • Trauma theory and other psychological approaches (e.g., cognitive poetics)
  • Representing crime, justice, violence, stereotyping, etc.
  • Comparisons between fictional and “true crime”/news representations of crime
  • Questions of high/low culture
  • International incarnations of mystery, detective, and crime works
  • Analyses of promotional and/or contextual materials (reviews, handbooks, etc.)
  • Mystery community culture (e.g., conferences, associations, forums, bookstores, listservs, author events, fandoms)
  • The genre as represented outside of print media, including film, television, podcasts, mystery dinner theatre, computer games, transmedia experiments, etc.

 

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 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.

 

ABOUT US

The Mystery & Detective Fiction Area of PCA/ACA is dedicated to recognizing, furthering, and promoting the scholarly study of all aspects of mystery and detective fiction. The M&D Fiction area offers an inclusive community where new and returning scholars can engage in sustained critical evaluation of texts, film, and television, podcasts, and other mediums relating to the theme. Each year we present the Earl Bargainnier Award for best paper by a first-time presenter in the M&D Fiction area and the George N. Dove Award for outstanding contributions to the serious study of crime fiction. In addition to panel presentations on all aspects of mystery and detective fiction, we organize a panel of local mystery authors and partner with other PCA sections with overlapping interests as well as coordinate formal and informal tours of the host city. We also invite members to participate in a group dinner, making this a truly collegial event. Members are also encouraged to participate in the annual business meeting, where we set the area’s course for the next year, and hold a raffle of fun low-cost items donated by area members.

For the rest of the year, we maintain contact through a listserv where we discuss ideas, circulate calls for contributions, and post book reviews and recommendations. To join the listserv, contact Karen Waldron at (kwaldron@coa.edu). Follow us on Twitter: @pca_mystery.

 

Please send all inquiries to co-chairs:

Jennifer Schnabel

The Ohio State University 

schnabel.23@osu.edu

and/or

Amy Hausser

Midlands Technical College

haussera@midlandstech.edu

 

 

 

2022 Conference Dates and Deadlines

01Aug-21 2022 Conference Information Available on Website
01 Sept-21 Submissions Open 
21 Jan-22 Deadline for Paper Proposals
11 Feb-22 Early Bird Registration Ends
12 Feb-22 Regular Registration Begins
01 Mar-22 Regular Registration Ends for Presenters; Those Presenters Not Registered by the Date Will be Dropped From the Program; Late Registration Continues for Nonpresenters
01 Apr-22 Late Registration Ends for Nonpresenters
April 13-16, 2022

Virtual conference

 

All presenters must be current, paid members of the PCA and registered for the conference. Non-presenters who attend the full conference must also pay membership fees.

To attend the National Conference, members must pay the membership fee and the registration fee.   

The last day for all refunds is February 20, 2022. No refund requests will be honored after this date. Membership fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.

 

Area chairs

Jennifer Schnabel

Amy Hausser