CFP, Historical Crime Fiction (theme issue of Clues: A Journal of Detection)

Elizabeth Foxwell's picture
Call for Papers
November 1, 2020
United States
Subject Fields: 
Humanities, Literature, Popular Culture Studies, Race / Ethnic Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies

Guest editor: Rosemary Erickson Johnsen (Governors State University)

Historical crime fiction, or detective fiction using historical settings, has long been an important strand of the mystery genre. Well-placed to provide pleasures similar to armchair tourism combined with the potential to convey historical knowledge through the crime fiction's focus on the quotidian amidst larger cultural landscapes, over the decades historical crime fiction has ranged from the whimsical to the didactic, offering insight into the author's own time period and that of the historical setting.

This theme issue of Clues seeks to explore the richness of historical crime fiction written in, and about, any time period. Topics of interest might include the following:


• Works by major figures in the field and by lesser-known or neglected authors

• Historical series or standalone titles

• Intersections with (historical) true crime

• Historical crime fiction with wartime settings

• Connections with the gothic

• Works that use the mystery as a vehicle to illuminate specific historical circumstances of women, immigrants, and/or racial/ethnic minorities

• Interplay between the historical and other crime-fiction subgenres (e.g., police procedural, cozy)

• Integration of historical research with the conventions of the mystery genre

• Literary pastiche; mysteries featuring literary figures or their authors as sleuths (e.g., Sherlock Holmes, Jane Austen)

• Forays into the historical by authors known for other detective modes (e.g., Agatha Christie)

Submissions should include a proposal of 250­–300 words and a brief biographical note. Full manuscripts will be due in early March 2021.

Contact Info: 
Dr. Caroline Reitz
Clues Executive Editor
Associate Professor, Dept of English, John Jay College of Criminal Justice-CUNY
524 W 59th St, 7th floor, Office 07.63.06
New York, NY 10019
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