Deadline: March 28, 2014
Date: June 12, 2014
Location: University of Portsmouth, UK
Pioneering works in the field of ‘thing theory’ such as Bill Brown’s A Sense of Things: The Object Matter of American Literature (2003) and Elaine Freedgood’s The Ideas in Things: Fugitive Meaning in the Victorian Novel (2006) have sought to re-conceptualize the roles of objects in fiction, moving beyond Marxist conceptions of the commodity and seeing material items not as weak metonymies, but as tellers of obscured histories. Yet the focus of such explorations has tended towards a focus on canonical realism and the ways in which such texts invite us to concentrate on subjects at the expense of objects. This symposium considers the ways in which objects have always been of crucial importance to the popular genre of detective fiction, as either clues, weapons, or as other embodiments of history. We welcome proposals on any aspect of the reading of objects in detective fiction (and related genres such as the sensation novel and crime fiction) from the nineteenth century onwards.
Proposals of no more than 300 words and a brief CV should be sent to Dr Christopher Pittard at Christopher.firstname.lastname@example.org, by March 28, 2014.