Detecting Europe in Contemporary Crime Narratives: Print Fiction, Film, and Television. Online International Conference
Confirmed Keynote Speakers
Theo D’haen (Leuven University and Leiden University)
Janet McCabe (Birkbeck, University of London)
Peppino Ortoleva (University of Turin)
DETECt final international conference will take place online from 21 to 23 June 2021
Among the different expressions of popular culture, no other genre more than crime – meant as a composite made up of many different variants or subgenres – has proved able to travel and expand its reach into international markets and with audiences. Nor has any other genre been more adept at laying bare the conflicts and contradictions – social, political and historical – that characterise contemporary European societies. The Detecting Europe conference offers an open forum to explore and discuss how narratives of crime and investigation, as well as their production and reception, have helped define the major industrial, commercial, thematic and stylistic trends of European popular culture since 1989, fostering both the transnational circulation of its products and the appearance of new transcultural representations in line with the emergence of new social identities. We welcome proposals that interrogate the notion of Europeanness as a critical category, and its viability for the study of contemporary popular culture, both in print and screen media. We wish to explore both the scope and limits of the interrelated notions of transnational identity and cosmopolitanism when applied to the works of European crime fiction, including print fiction, film, and TV. A few general — but not exclusive — questions may be asked. Are we to conceive of cosmopolitanism and the process of European transculturation merely as unifying factors, fostering the generation of a shared and uniform transnational identity? Or should we better acknowledge the existence of a variety of European transcultural identities, expressed in different writing and audio-visual styles, characteristic narrative models, place-specific production cultures and distribution and consumption patterns? What is the impact of national media ecologies in shaping the idea of the European, and how the national translate the European when foreign products appear in its mediascape? Should hybridization and transculturation be assumed as markers and powerful drivers of cultural homologation? Or rather the opposite is true, namely that cultural hybridization entails a growing differentiation of narrative forms and styles, contents and formats, production and reception practices, thus contributing to the emergence of a post-national assemblage of multiple and possibly diverging cosmopolitan identities? We deem it important, at this particular time, that the notion of Europeanness and its eventual instantiations in contemporary crime narratives is approached having in mind the multiple crises that are currently affecting the continent and its population. We invite proposals from multiple fields of cultural studies, including representation studies, industry and production studies, and reception and audience studies. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Hybridization and transculturation: toward homologation or increased cultural differentiation?
- Crime fiction and the European crisis: immigration, migrant labour, Brexit, and the rise of right-wing popularism.
- The restaging and critical analysis of Europe’s recent past in the work of crime writers, screenwriters and directors.
- Images of Europe and Europeans: investigating social change through the study of popular crime narratives.
- Restating vs challenging class, gender and ethnic stereotypes, prejudices and discrimination in the representation of crime.
- The multiple facets of European diversity: how have social, spatial and historical identities been expressed in the works of the European crime genre?
- Ecocriticism and environmental humanities in the era of widescale ecological crisis: eco-noir and the challenges to European environment policies.
- The profiled position of crime in fostering transnational cooperation in the European cultural and creative sectors.
- Relationships and discrepancies between national/local creative industries and transnational cultural policies in the production milieu of the European crime genre.
- Transnational production and distribution and the emergence of transcultural formats.
- The hopes and limits of European cohesiveness, as revealed in practices of co-production and distribution of crime novels, films and TV dramas across the continent.
- Crime narratives and the media discourse on organized trans-European crime.
- Fictional representations of legal and forensic practices in comparative perspective.
- Translation, dubbing, subtitling as strategies for cultural adaptation and appropriation.
- The imbrication of local, national and transnational identities in the reception of foreign crime stories, between old and fresh perspectives on proximate or distant neighbors.
- Transnational distribution and the role of audiences in shaping the circulation patterns of European crime narratives across the continent.
- Detecting transcultural identity and social change through the study of the audiences’ response to crime stories and trans/cross-media universes.
- Engagement and design of crime audiences in the age of digital markets and online distribution.
- Making sense of social change through the audience’s response to the representation of female, gay, lesbian and queer characters.
- Theorising transnational/transdisciplinary research for the study of European crime narratives in print and screen media.
- The contribution of Digital Humanities to Cultural Studies research.
Conference Chairs: Monica Dall’Asta (University of Bologna), Federico Pagello (D’Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara), Valentina Re (Link Campus University)
Advisory Board: Stefano Arduini (Link Campus University), Maurizio Ascari (University of Bologna), Jan Baetens (KU Leuven), Luca Barra (University of Bologna), Stefano Baschiera (Queen’s University Belfast), Giulia Carluccio (University of Turin), Silvana Colella (University of Macerata), Caius Dobrescu (University of Bucharest), Andrea Esser (University of Roehampton), Nicola Ferrigni (Link Campus University), Katarina Gregersdotter (Umeå University), Kim Toft Hansen (Aalborg University), Annette Hill (University of Lund), Dominique Jeannerod (Queen’s University Belfast), Sandor Kalai (University of Debrecen), Matthieu Letourneux (University Paris Nanterre), Natacha Levet (University of Limoges), Giacomo Manzoli (University of Bologna), Janet McCabe (Birkbeck University), Jacques Migozzi (University of Limoges), Andrew Pepper (Queen’s University Belfast), Marica Spalletta (Link Campus University)
Organizing Committee: Luca Antoniazzi (University of Bologna), Sara Casoli (University of Bologna), Massimiliano Coviello (Link Campus University), Paola De Rosa (Link Campus University)
Students Staff: Eleonora Mercuri, Nicola Pimpinella, Lavinia Sansone (Link Campus University, undergraduate degree programme in Film and Theatre Making)
The conference is also supported by CUC – Consulta Universitaria del Cinema and by PIC-AIS – Associazione Italiana di Sociologia, Sezione Processi e Istituzioni Culturali(Italy).
Submissions are welcome as individual papers (max. 20 minutes) and pre-constituted panels (3/4 papers). Individual presenters are required to provide their name, email address, the title of the paper, an abstract (max. 300 words), references (max. 200 words), and a short bio (max. 150 words).
Submit your paper proposal.
Panel organizers are also asked to submit a panel title and a short description of the panel (max. 300 words). Submit your panel proposal.
Deadlines and practicalities
Although we were very keen to hold the DETECt final conference in-person, due to current uncertainties related to the pandemic the event has been moved online. In fact, as we know from major international media outlets, it is currently impossible to tell whether travel restrictions and even more severe forms of movement limitations will be abandoned or confirmed over the coming months.
Abstracts deadline: 30 November 2020
Feedback: 15 December 2020
Registration deadline: 31 March 2021
No conference fee
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