Theme Issue of Clues: A Journal of Detection
Guest Editors: Susannah B. Mintz (Skidmore College) and Mark Osteen (Loyola University Maryland)
The guest editors welcome proposals for a theme issue of Clues focusing on the representation of disability, broadly defined, in crime and mystery fiction, television shows, films, and other media. We seek a wide range of critical and cultural perspectives on how bodymind anomalousness features in stories about wrongdoing, from the maimed and scarred villains of Conan Doyle to the neurodivergent hero-sleuths of contemporary popular culture. In what ways have impairment, disfigurement, and disease been used to raise the stakes of fear and upheaval in crime stories? How do such narratives perpetuate or challenge ableist notions of order and resolution? Does corporeal vulnerability stoke our pity, sympathy, or admiration—whether for criminals, victims, or detectives whose genius seems to triumph over adversity? Conversely, do the contours of disability facilitate alternative modes of sleuthing and lead to unexpected forms of justice? What alternate forms of knowledge do these characters and texts present and endorse? Since the genre of crime by definition entails what and how we know, how have authors—over time and around the world—engaged disability to probe the meaning of truth?
Possible topics may include but are not limited to:
• Disability as the mark of criminality
• Disability as a crime—or as damage—that must be redeemed
• Disability as metaphor for social decay
• Supercrip crime solvers and criminals
• Analytical prowess as compensation for physical or emotional loss
• Neurodivergence and the lonely sleuth
• Intersectional plots pairing disability with gender, race, class, and sexuality
• Disability as affective vector: upping the emotional ante
• Specific impairments as modes of knowing: detection and “cripistemology”
Submissions should include a proposal of 250–300 words and a brief bio. Proposals due: March 15, 2024. Submit proposals to: Prof. Susannah B. Mintz, Dept. of English, Skidmore College, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, and Prof. Mark Osteen, Dept. of English, Loyola University Maryland, email: MOsteen@loyola.edu. Full manuscripts of 5,000 to 6,500 words based on an accepted proposal will be due in September 2024.