EVENT Mar 07
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Intersectional Crime Fiction: Investigating the Genre (2024 Northeast Modern Language Association )

Boston, MA
Organization: Northeast Modern Language Association
Event: 2024 Northeast Modern Language Association
Categories: American, Genre & Form, Gender & Sexuality, Women's Studies, African-American, Colonial, Revolution & Early National, Transcendentalists, 1865-1914, 20th & 21st Century, Adventure & Travel Writing, Children's Literature, Comics & Graphic Novels, Drama, Narratology, Poetry
Event Date: 2024-03-07 to 2024-03-10 Abstract Due: 2023-09-30

This panel examines the continuum of intersectional crime fiction writing in a U.S. context, illuminating the methods, exemplary texts, and narrative strategies that embrace inclusive tenets and movements, from Black Lives Matter to LGBTQ+ rights to #ownvoices and neurodivergence. The panel aims to investigate the possibilities and challenges presented by the incorporation of diverse social identities and critique of power structures within narrative cartography. This inquiry entails an exploration of how marginalized identities, including racial, gender, health status, veteran status, and class, are represented and interrogated within the broad range of crime fiction writing. Panelists will critically evaluate the ways in which intersectionality complicates narratives of power, knowledge, "justice," and the search for truth, and exposes the assumptions and biases inherent in the genre. In addition, the panel will examine the significance of diverse authorship and representation in the crime fiction genre, particularly in fostering more nuanced and authentic portrayals of identities and lived experiences.

What can we infer about attitudinal change from recent developments in the crime fiction genre? Fictionalized characters from historically marginalized communities (Black, Indigenous, People of Color, LGBTQ+) challenge the received canon and yoke the complexities of investigation to the rhetorics and explorations of identity politics. Mining essential and illustrative portrayals of intersectional detection, this panel demonstrates how cultural, political, and criminal discourses across a diverse range of groups also negotiate the demands for decipherability and the complexities of code switching within legacies of heteronormative, cisgender white supremacy. Mysteries, noir and thrillers by BIPoC and underrepresented writers like Attica Locke, Louise Erdrich, Cheryl A. Head, Richie Narvaez and S.A. Cosby vivify the hallmarks of critical race theories and intersectional feminism as well as socio/economic analysis within compelling crime fiction contexts.

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Justine Dymond