Call for Papers

Retold, Resold, Transformed? Crime Fiction in the Modern Era

Faculty of Arts, Leeds University, U.K.

17-18 September 2013


In recent decades crime fiction has enjoyed a creative boom. Although, as Alison Young argues in her bookImagining Crime (1996), crime stories remain strongly identified with specific locations, the genre has acquired a global reach, illuminating different corners of the world - from the downtown precincts of Baltimore to the South African peninsula to bleak Danish skies - for the delectation of international audiences. The recent fashion for nordic noir has highlighted the process by which the crime story may be franchised, as it is transposed from one culture to another. Crime fiction has thus become a vehicle for cultural exchange in the broadest of senses; not only does it move with apparent ease from one country to the next, and in and out of different languages, but it is also reproduced through various cultural media. But what is involved in these processes of transference? Do stories lose or gain value? Or are they transformed into something else altogether? How does the crime story that originates in a specific society or culture come to articulate aspects of very different societies and cultures? And what are the repercussions of this cultural permeability?

The University of Leeds and the Crime Studies Network invite scholars, practitioners and fans to attend an international, interdisciplinary conference dedicated to contemporary crime fiction. It is intended that the conference will attract delegates from different backgrounds and academic disciplines, including literary and cultural studies, stylistics, the philosophy of aesthetics, film, television and media studies, and sociology. Proposals for papers on any aspect of contemporary crime fiction are welcomed, particularly those which address aspects of cultural exchange and migration, the publishing industry (including translation and adaptation), reading, reception and rewriting (including fan fiction and the blogosphere) and philosophical and literary approaches to questions of cultural value.

Featured Keynote Speakers and Roundtable Panelists include Peter Robinson, Barry Forshaw, Francois von Hurter, Ilaria Meliconi and Howard Curtis.

Peter Robinson is the author of the best-selling DCI Banks novels, the most recent of which is Children of the Revolution. His 2011 book, a standalone novel titled Before the Poison, was a number one UK bestseller and won the U.S. Dilys Award, the Canadian Arthur Ellis Award and the Swedish Golden Crowbar Award. He has also published two collections of short stories, Not Safe After Dark and The Price of Love. His works have been translated into over twenty languages, and he has won a number of international awards, including the Edgar, the Dagger in the Library, the Swedish Martin Beck Award, the Danish Palle Rosenkrantz and the French Grand Prix de Littérature Policière.  In 2011, the first series of  DCI Banks showed on ITV, starring Stephen Tompkinson, and Peter was inducted into The International Hall of Fame. He holds honorary degrees from the University of Leeds and the University of Windsor, Ontario, an MA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Windsor, and a PhD in English Literature from York University, Toronto.

Gianrico Carofiglio is an award-winning, best-selling novelist.  Born in Bari in 1961, he worked for many years as a prosecutor specializing in organized crime. He was appointed advisor of the anti-Mafia committee in the Italian parliament in 2007 and served as senator from 2008 to 2013. Carofiglio is best known for the Guido Guerrieri crime series. Involuntary Witness, A Walk in the Dark, Reasonable Doubts and Temporary Perfections were all published by Bitter Lemon Press. His other novels include The Past Is a Foreign Country. Carofiglio’s books have sold more than four million copies in Italy and have been translated into twenty-four languages worldwide. 

Barry Forshaw’s latest books are Death in a Cold Climate: A Guide to Scandinavian Crime FictionBritish Crime Film and Nordic Noir: The Pocket Essential Guide to Scandinavian Crime Fiction, Film & TV. His other work includes British Crime Writing: An Encyclopedia and The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction, along with books on Italian cinema, Film Noir and the first biography of Stieg Larsson. His next books are British Gothic Cinema and a study of The Silence of the Lambs. He writes for various national newspapers, edits Crime Time, broadcasts for ITV and BBC TV documentaries, and has been Vice Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association.

Francois von Hurter co-runs Bitter Lemon Press, a small London-based independent publisher set up in 2003, and specializing in translated literary crime novels and noirs. The Press currently publishes novels by authors such as the Italian Gianrico Carofiglio, Swiss Friedrich Glauser, Dutch Saskia Noort, and the Cuban Leonardo Padura. Several of the novels published have gone on to win or be shortlisted for awards such as the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger and the Dublin IMPAC Award.

Ilaria Meliconi studied astrophysics at the University of Bologna, then a masters and a DPhil (or a PhD for non-Oxonians) in history of science at Oxford. She fell into publishing, working first on the journal of a learned society and then moving on to managing various journals and commissioning books. After a decade of experience she wanted to recommend her favourite crime fiction books to her English-speaking friends, and found they were not available: she then founded Hersilia Press (

Howard Curtis is a British translator specialized in translating French, Italian and Spanish crime fiction. He has translated, among others, novels by George Simenon, Jean-Claude Izzo, and Gianrico Carofiglio.

Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words to Christiana Gregoriou , one of the conference organisers, by 13 May 2013. The abstract should include a title, name and affiliation of the speaker, and a contact email address. Feel free to submit abstracts presenting work in progress as well as completed projects. Postgraduate students are welcome. Note that the conference room has a computer, data projector and screen; any further AV requests should be made on submission of the relevant abstract. Papers will be a maximum of 20 minutes in length, with a maximum of 10 minutes for questions.

Contact the conference organisers below for more details or, alternatively, see the Conference Website

The Crime Studies Network website is accessible at:

The conference organisers (including emails and affiliations):

Dr Christiana Gregoriou (, English)
Prof David Platten (, French)
Dr Gigliola Sulis (, Italian)