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 ([email protected]). Follow us on Twitter: @pca_mystery.

 

Please send all inquiries to co-chairs:

Amy Hausser

[email protected]

and/or

Marla Harris

[email protected]

 

 

2023 Conference Dates and Deadlines

15 Aug-22                                            2022 Conference Information Available on Website
15 Sept-22 Submissions Open 
07 Oct-22 Early Bird Registration Begins
20 Dec-22 Deadline for Paper Proposals
02 Jan-23 Early Bird Registration Ends
03 Jan-23 Regular Registration Begins
13 Jan-23 Preliminary Schedule Available
01 Feb-23 Regular Registration Ends for Presenters; Those Presenters Not Registered by the Date Will be Dropped From the Program; Late Registration Continues for Nonpresenters
17 Mar-23 Late Registration Ends for Nonpresenters
 5-8 April-23

conference in San ANTONIO, TX

 

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. Membership fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.

 

Submit a Paper Proposal for the 2023 PCA Conference: 

Submissions for paper proposals are now open. The submission deadline is December 20, 2022. Please be sure you read and understand all instructions, policies, and procedures before you submit your proposal. 

 

SUBMIT

 

 

 

Area chairs

Amy Hausser

Marla Harris