Monday, June 05, 2023

Clues 41.1: Detective fiction and borders.

Clues 41.1 (2023)—a theme issue on Detective Fiction and Borders—has been published. For a print issue or a subscription, contact McFarland. I will update this post when the ebook versions are available.

Introduction: Detective Fiction and Borders
MANINA JONES (Western University, Canada)

The guest editor of this theme issue of Clues provides an overview of the issue, including essays on Saradindu Bandyopadhyay, Carlos Bulosan, Agatha Christie, Calling All Cars, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, Japanese crime fiction, Ausma Zehanat Khan, Henning Mankell, China Miéville, Miguel Pajares, and David Heska Wanbli Weiden. 

Crimes at the Maritime Border: Miguel Pajares’s Aguas de venganza [Waters of Revenge]
SILVIA RUZZI

This essay analyzes Miguel Pajares’s Aguas de venganza [Waters of Revenge, 2016], delving into the representations of the Mediterranean Sea as a constructed lawless maritime border where crimes are unpunished; revenge occurs; and official explanations of border casualties interact with a narrative of border crimes, public negligence, and injustice. 

Policing Mobilities and Boundaries: A Study of Henning Mankell’s The Dogs of Riga and Firewall
ARATRIKA MANDAL and SOMDATTA BHATTACHARYA (Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur)

This article examines the representation of racism and immigration and the ways they transform borderline and bordered space into criminal space in two popular Swedish crime novels by Henning Mankell. In Mankell’s Firewall and Dogs of Riga, negotiations between individuals and borders realize the interaction between state apparatuses and technology, potentially destabilizing the physical and the virtual border. 

The Geopolitics of Passing in Carlos Bulosan’s All the Conspirators
SYDNEY VAN TO (UC Berkeley) 

Carlos Bulosan’s mid–twentieth-century noir novella All the Conspirators stages a conflict between guerrillas and collaborators in the postwar Philippines, illustrating a “geopolitics of passing” that examines the triangulation of borders through acts of racial, ideological, and imperial passing. Through the trope of passing, the transgression and eventual reconstitution of these borders is shown to be an alibi for the expansion of U.S. empire. 

Embodied Borders: Countering Islamophobia in Ausma Zehanat Khan’s Crime Fiction
PILAR CUDER-DOMÍNGUEZ (University of Huelva, Spain) 

This essay draws from critical race and affect studies in addressing how the police officer Esa Khattak in Ausma Zehanat Khan’s crime fiction embodies race and faith differences within the Global North and thus helps bring attention to bear on the rise of anti-Muslim feelings within allegedly plural liberal democracies.

The “Other” Conflicts: Borders in Saradindu Bandyopadhyay’s Bengali Detective Fiction
SHREYA DAS (Sanskrit College and University, India)
The article examines the response of popular Bengali literary works to the Partition of 1947 in India, which brought about a mass migration across the borders of Punjab and Bengal. It focuses on Saradindu Bandyopadhyay’s Byomkesh series, one of the most popular Bengali detective series.

“So long as [the crime] took place on Indian land”:
Borders, Colonialism, and Indigeneity in
Winter Counts
NICOLE KENLEY (Baylor University) 

The exploration of criminally instantiated settler colonial borders by David Heska Wanbli Weiden in Winter Counts includes the lasting repercussions of neglect and stigmatization that perpetuate ongoing crime in the Lakota community. Weiden uses detective fiction’s generic conventions of resolution and restoration to offer the dissolution of settler colonial borders as the crime’s true solution. 

Japanese Crime Fiction as World Literature
LOLA SUNDIN (Monash University, Australia) 

This article explores the development of Japanese crime fiction through the translation and circulation of international crime fiction as world literature. It also explores the circulation of modern Japanese crime fiction, demonstrating that the genre has achieved more widespread readership (and hence status as “world literature”) through translations into less-translated languages.

“No Picturesque Village is Safe”:
Agatha Christie’s Cornish Crime Scenes in “The Blood-Stained Pavement” and “Ingots of Gold”
CHARLOTTE BEYER (University of Gloucestershire, UK) 

This article explores Agatha Christie’s representations of Cornwall and Cornish crime scenes in two crime short stories, “The Blood-Stained Pavement” (1928) and “Ingots of Gold” (1928). The author argues that Christie looks behind popular cultural representations of Cornwall, uncovering dark tourism, heritage crime, histories of oppression, misogynist violence, and murder. 

Securing and Crossing Borders: Estrangement in China Miéville’s The City and the City
MONA KAMMER (Freie Universität of Berlin, Germany) 

This essay discusses the setting of the detective novel The City and the City that estranges its genre by its depiction of borders. Borders are perceived in a sociological sense not only as territorial but also as mental constructions. The investigator functions as a keeper of the law but also a (literal and figurative) border-crosser. 

Transmitting Aural Borders: Racialized Sounds, Automobility, and Criminality in Calling All Cars
BENJAMIN WILLIAMS (Carnegie Mellon University) 

The 1930s radio broadcast Calling All Cars subverted the genre of hard-boiled detective fiction to dramatically tell stories of “true” local crime committed in Southern California. Each episode was filtered through the police to sonically discipline its local listeners, promote citizen surveillance, and constitute an aural border that criminalized racialized populations. 

Reframing Il Mostro in Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders:
American Killers, Italian Monsters, and the Transnational Imagination

FRANCESCA BORRIONE (University of Virginia) 

This essay discusses two American obsessions—xenophobia and serial killers—as displayed in the episode “Il mostro” from the CBS program Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (2017). By placing two murder mysteries—one American, one Italian—in conversation, “Il mostro” appeals to the transnational imagination while reinforcing collective anxieties about the fear of the other. 

REVIEWS
Jesper Gulddal, Stewart King, and Alistair Rolls, Eds. The Cambridge Companion to World Crime Fiction ANISSA M. GRAHAM (University of North Alabama) 

Desirée Prideaux. Sleuthing Miss Marple: Gender, Genre, and Agency in Agatha Christie’s Crime Fiction RACHEL SCHAFFER (Montana State University–Billings) 

Debayan Deb Barman, ed. Critical Essays on English and Bengali Detective Fiction
DIANE M. CALHOUN-FRENCH 

Stacy Gillis and Gunnthorunn GuĂ°mundsdóttir, Eds. Noir in the North: Genre, Politics and Place
CLARE ROLENS (Palomar College) 

Sarah Hagelin and Gillian Silverman. The New Female Antihero: The Disruptive Women of Twenty-first-Century US Television
CAROLINE REITZ (John Jay College of Criminal Justice–CUNY/CUNY Graduate School)

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