15/7/2021 – CFP: American Golden Age Mystery and Detective Fiction

cfp detective

What, when & where

Third issue of Mean Streets: A Journal of American Crime and Detective Fiction


Proposals: July 15, 2021
Final essays: December 1, 2021

The “Golden Age” of mystery and detective fiction is generally agreed upon as bounded by World War I and World War II. While the designation is widely applied to both British and American fiction of the period, it has most closely adhered to British fiction, perhaps because American crime writing in the period was sharply bifurcated between Classical and Hard-boiled writing. Indeed, Stephen Wright claims that “It was in Britain that the clue-puzzle had its richest development” and also traces the important revision of narrative structure that became known as the “inverted” story to an English writer. So, in what lay the contribution of American writers? Are there unique features in their offerings to the Classical detective narrative? Is there any cross-fertilization (or creative friction) between Classical and Hard-boiled practices? Do the circumstances of American life and culture of the period produce qualities notably different from British narratives?

Some possible approaches:

· Interrogate the question: Is there an American Golden Age?
· Thematic explorations
· Contemporary resurgence of Golden Age interest/popularity
· Contributions of particular American publishers to Golden Age popularity and/or rediscovery (e.g., Rue Morgue Press, Library of Congress Crime Classics)
· Juxtaposition of Classic and Hard-boiled fiction in the period
· Analysis of the critical receptions of American writers by British critics
· Selected authors associated with the period
Anthony Abbot
Stuart Palmer
Anne Austin
Zelda Popkin
Hugh Austin
Ellery Queen
Earl Derr Biggers
Patrick Quentin
Anthony Boucher
Virginia Rath
John Dickson Carr
Clayton Rawson
Clyde B. Clason
Mary Roberts Rinehart
Dorothy Cameron Disney
Mabel Seeley
Todd Downing
Rex Stout
Mignon Eberhart
Kay Cleaver Strahan
Erle Stanley Gardner
John Stephen Strange
Frances Noyes Hart
Phoebe Atwood Taylor
C. Daly King
Darwin Teilhet
Rufus King
S.S. Van Dine
Helen McCloy
Carolyn Wells

Deadline & how to apply

Abstracts of 250 words with proposed title should be directed no later than July 15, 2021, to the editors: Rebecca Martin (doc.rmartin@gmail.com) and Walter Raubicheck (wraubicheck@pace.edu).

Final papers of 7000-8000 words will be due by December 1, 2021, with publication anticipated in spring 2022. Feel free to send questions to both editors.

Other info, Links & conditions

This journal is published by the Pace University Press (New York City), which has been sponsoring scholarly journals since the 1980s.

Mean Streets is a refereed journal edited by two scholars in literature and film and guided by an Editorial Board comprised of distinguished scholars from several disciplines. Submissions will be reviewed by the editors and selected Board members.

The journal’s first issue appeared in spring 2020, with the second issue anticipated in June 2021. Copies may be ordered at press.pace.edu/journals/mean-streets/.


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