EVENT Mar 05
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Detective Fiction and the Revival of Reading (NeMLA)

Boston, MA
Organization: NorthEastern Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
Event: NeMLA
Categories: Postcolonial, American, Hispanic & Latino, Interdisciplinary, French, British, Genre & Form, Popular Culture, Literary Theory, World Literatures, African-American, Colonial, Revolution & Early National, Transcendentalists, 1865-1914, 20th & 21st Century, Medieval, Early Modern & Renaissance, Long 18th Century, Romantics, Victorian, 20th & 21st Century, Adventure & Travel Writing, Children's Literature, Comics & Graphic Novels, Drama, Narratology, Poetry, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Classical Studies, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Food Studies, History, Philosophy, African & African Diasporas, Asian & Asian Diasporas, Australian Literature, Canadian Literature, Caribbean & Caribbean Diasporas, Indian Subcontinent, Eastern European, Mediterranean, Middle East, Native American, Scandinavian, Pacific Literature
Event Date: 2020-03-05 to 2020-03-08 Abstract Due: 2019-09-30

Amid alarm over falling literacy levels and reading overall, the potential marginalised genres offer for reviving this skill and keeping it relevant has been raised before, even if these marginalised texts are to serve as a mere introduction to “real” literature. Contrary to minimising hypotheses and proposals like these, however, detective fiction offers far more. The very qualities that still cause some to disdain this genre—its popular appeal, engagement with current issues and social ills, ease of serialisation and adaptation, even if for commercial, rather than artistic purposes—may hold the key to its ability to keep literacy alive, as well as helping it evolve in and beyond our digital era. Papers addressing this potential, whether examining specific examples or treating the genre more broadly, are invited.



Maria L. Plochocki