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MeCCSA 2016

The next Annual MeCCSA Conference will be held 6-8 January 2016 in Canterbury, UK. The theme of the MeCCSA 2016 is ‘Communities’. Keynote speakers and panel streams will be dedicated to this theme.  

The conference is hosted by the School of Media, Art and Design, Canterbury Christ Church University and will be held at our North Holmes Road campus (please visit our practicalities section on the menu for further details).

If you have any questions, the conference team can be contacted via email at:meccsa2016@canterbury.ac.uk

To register for the conference please click here

Read more Posted by Eden Joseph at 12:26 (0) comments
Call for Papers: Metaverse Creativity

Aims and Scope

Metaverse Creativity is an academic peer-reviewed journal focusing on virtual creativity in online virtual worlds and other related platforms where the virtual is examined as a central theme in contemporary media art practices and applied contexts. The subject of digital creativity and its subsequent exploration are sought from the broad perspective of Art, Science and Technology in what is a widespread field of discourse. A focus of the journal is an examination of the creative activity in the metaverse from art, design and architecture, to research and education, to play and entertainment. Additionally, the journal seeks to engage with ways in which the virtual reflects upon the implications of the physical.

The spectrum of topics that fall within the scope of the journal include:

  • Creative Practices related to Virtual Worlds, Augmented Space, Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality, Future Immersive Worlds, Physical/Virtual Dialogues
  • Art, Science and Technology – Art and Science, Art and Technology, Art as Research / Practice Based Research
  • Virtual technologies – Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality, Cognitive Informatics, Brain-Computer Interfaces
  • Embodiment Practices – the Avatar, Identity, Performance, Gender
  • Applied Practices related to Networked Performance, Art and Heritage, and Cyber-museums
  • Learning in Virtual Worlds, and applications related to Therapy and Health
  • Theoretical Contexts

Call for Papers

Articles should be between 5000 and 10,000 words in length, including keywords, full references, bibliography and an abstract of no more than 300 words detailing the key areas of investigation, supplemented with colour images (to be supplied separately), which are at least 1600 pixels wide (300 dpi). Given the scope and breadth of the topics listed above, authors are kindly asked that their contributions be accessible to the non-specialist reader whilst retaining all of the requirements of academic rigor.

In addition to full text articles, proposals for reviews, scope related interviews and photo essays that document, evaluate or reflect on creative activity in a virtual context can also be undertaken. In this instance individuals are required to submit visual material together with a written proposal which should include a critical introduction of no more than 500 words outlining to the editorial team why the work submitted is relevant to the theme of the journal. Please refer to the Intellect Style Guide before submitting to the journal.

Submission Deadline: Friday 15 April 2016.

Submissions and enquiries should be sent to the editors: Elif Ayiter (ayiter@gmail.com) and Denise Doyle (D.Doyle@wlv.ac.uk).

Read more Posted by Eden Joseph at 16:40 (0) comments
AATI-ACTFL International Conference

AATI-ACTFL International Conference

Boston 18–20 November 2016

Call for Proposals

Academic celebrations of Italian cinema anniversaries

Panel organizer: Flavia Laviosa (Wellesley College, Editor of the Journal of Italian Cinema & Media Studies)

The Journal of Italian Cinema & Media Studies has published one double themed issue celebrating the 60th anniversary of RAI: 1954–2014 (Vol. 3:1-2, 2015); and a second special issue historicizing the 60th anniversary of the David di Donatello award: 1956–2016 (Vol. 4:2, 2016. Forthcoming January 2016). 

The Editor of the journal is committed to publish new issues that will document, historicize and critically examine other major anniversaries celebrating the Italian film tradition. The purpose of these future collections is to pay homage to three main institutions: the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, Cinecittà Studios and the Nastro d’Argento award, for representing the highest expressions of the Italian film heritage and for being symbols of collective cinematic memory.

This CFP invites critical and historical proposals on the following anniversaries:

-          80th anniversary of Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia: 1935–2015

-          80th anniversary of  Cinecittà: 1937–2017

-          70th anniversary of the Nastro d’Argento/Silver Ribbon award: 1946–2016

Submit a title, a 100 word professional biography, and a 250 word proposal describing your topic to Flavia Laviosa at flaviosa@wellesley.edu by 10 January 2016.

Read more Posted by Eden Joseph at 18:13 (0) comments
AATI INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE - ITALY

AATI INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE - ITALY 

Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II

Università degli Studi di Napoli L’Orientale

Naples 22–27 June 2016

1) Innovations and tensions in Italian and world cinema

Session organizer: Flavia Laviosa (Wellesley College, Editor of the Journal of Italian Cinema ¶ Media Studies)

The Journal of Italian Cinema ¶ Media Studies has published several issues on the influence of Italian cinema on international cinema (Vol. 2: 1 & 3, 2014 on Italy-China; Vol. 4:1, 2016, and Vol. 4:3, 2016, forthcoming September 2016, on Italy-world cinema), thus shifting the critical paradigm outside the inwardly focused field of Italian film studies and exploring how Italian cinema expands beyond the boundaries of its (pen)insularity.

With this CFP, the Editor invites proposals that would identify innovations and tensions shaping contemporary Italian cinema productions and establishing new encounters with world cinema.

Proposals of articles should be entirely original and unpublished.

Submit a title, a 100 word professional biography, and a 250 word proposal to Flavia Laviosa at flaviosa@wellesley.edu by 20 January 2016.

2) Academic celebrations of Italian cinema anniversaries 

Panel organizer: Flavia Laviosa (Wellesley College, Editor of the Journal of Italian Cinema & Media Studies)

The Journal of Italian Cinema & Media Studies has published one double themed issue celebrating the 60th anniversary of RAI: 1954-2014 (Vol. 3:1-2, 2015); and a second special issue historicizing the 60th anniversary of the David di Donatello award: 1956–2016 (Vol. 4:2, 2016. Forthcoming January 2016).

The Editor of the journal is committed to publish new issues that will document, historicize and critically examine other major anniversaries celebrating the Italian film tradition. The purpose of these future collections is to pay homage to three main institutions: the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, Cinecittà Studios and the Nastro d’Argento award, for representing the highest expressions of the Italian film heritage and for being symbols of collective cinematic memory.

This CFP invites critical and historical proposals on the following anniversaries:

-  80th anniversary of Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia: 1935–2015

-  80th anniversary of Cinecittà Studios: 1937–2017

- 70th anniversary of the Nastro d’Argento/Silver Ribbon award: 1946–2016

Proposals of the articles should be entirely original and unpublished.

 

Submit a title, a 100 word professional biography, and a 250 word proposal to Flavia Laviosa at flaviosa@wellesley.edu by 20 January 2016.

Read more Posted by Eden Joseph at 18:01 (0) comments
Fan Phenomena: Marilyn Monroe

Editor of Intellect's Fan Phenomena: Marilyn Monroe, Marcelline Block was featured in

Marilyn Today (no. 29, Christmas 2015, pp. 7-11). Marilyn Today is published by the Some Like It Hot Marilyn Monroe International German Fan Club.

The book was also featured in the year-end wrap-up from Everlasting Star.

Fan Phenomena: Marilyn Monroe is avaible to buy from here

Read more Posted by Eden Joseph at 11:39 (0) comments
CFP: EUPOP 2016
Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, July 20th – 22nd, 2016 Deadline: Monday, February 29th, 2016
Individual paper and panel contributions are welcomed for the fifth annual international conference of the European Popular Culture Association (EPCA), to be held at the Université Paris Ouest in Nanterre, just outside Paris(Faculty of Foreign Languages and Cultures), July 20th – 22nd, 2016.
 
EUPOP 2016 will explore European popular culture in all its various forms. This includes, but is by no means limited to, the following topics: European Film (past and present), Television, Music, Celebrity, The Body, Fashion, New Media, Popular Literature and Graphic Novels, Queer Studies, Sport, Curation, and Digital Culture.
The closing date for this call is Monday 29th February, 2016.
 
There will be opportunities for networking and publishing within the EPCA. Presenters at EUPOP 2016 will be encouraged to develop their papers for publication in a number of Intellect journals, including the EPCA’s Journal of European Popular Culture. Journal editors will be working closely with strand convenors – a full list of Intellect journals is available at:
www.intellectbooks.com

 
Papers and Complete Panels for all strands will be subject to peer review. Proposals for individual presentations must not exceed 20 minutes in length, and those for panels limited to 90 minutes. In the latter case, please provide a short description of the panel along with individual abstracts. Poster presentations and video projections are also warmly welcomed.
 
Proposals comprising a 300-word abstract, your full name, affiliation, and contact details (as a Word-file attachment, not a PDF) should be submitted to Graham Roberts (grahamroberts83@gmail.com) by February 29th, 2016. Receipt of proposals will be acknowledged via e-mail.
 
 
The conference draft program will be announced in May 2016, along with the conference registration and accommodation details. The likely conference fee will be 200 euros (student), and 250 euros (other). The fee includes coffees, lunches, evening reception & dinner, and EPCA Membership (includes the subscription of the European Journal of Popular Culture, Intellect Press).
 
Keynote speakers: EPCA President Kari Kallioniemi (University of Turku), Dr Sue Harris (Queen Mary, University of London), and Dave Laing (University of Liverpool).
 
The European Popular Culture Association
The European Popular Culture Association (EPCA) promotes the study of popular culture from, in, and about Europe. Popular culture involves a wide range of activities, material forms and audiences. EPCA aims to examine and discuss these different aspects as they relate both to Europe and to Europeans across the globe, whether contemporary or historical.
 
EUPOP 2016 is organised by:
European Popular Culture Association (EPCA): http://epcablog.wordpress.com/
International Institute for Popular Culture (IIPC): http://iipc.utu.fi/
 
Kind Regards,
 
EPCA President, Adjunct Professor Kari Kallioniemi, kakallio@utu.fi
 
Dr Graham Roberts, grahamroberts83@gmail.com
 
EPCA Vice-President, Pamela Church Gibson, p.church-gibson@fashion.arts.ac.uk
 

EPCA Secretary, IIPC Coordinator, Dr Kimi Kärki, kierka@utu.fi 

Read more Posted by Jessica Pennock at 10:25 (0) comments
Call for Papers: Dance, Movement and Spiritualities

We invite contributions for Dance, Movement and Spiritualities.

Standard articles will be in the range of 5000-8000 words, including a 150 word abstract, six indicative key words, institutional affiliation and a short biography. 

Call for articles: Submission dates, March 15th 2016, and June 15th 2016. E-mail Amanda Williamson: ab8863@coventry.ac.uk 

Example topics may include - but are not limited to: 

 ·      The intersections between religion, spirituality and dance

·      The meeting points between health, movement and spirituality

·      The cultural production and historization of spirituality in relation to the growth of dance and movement practices

·      Spirituality, gender and dance/movement

·      The impact of secularization on Dance Education

·      Connections between philosophy, spirituality and dance/movement

·      The emergence and appreciation of new forms of spiritual dance in Western contexts otherwise undocumented (both popular and  academic)

·      The documentation of spiritual forms associated with institutionalized religion

·      Dance/movement forms aligned with non-institutionalized spirituality (evolving forms linked to  New Age Spirituality and the holistic spirituality paradigm)

·      Secular spiritualities underpinning practice, performance and pedagogy

·      Postmodern spiritualities underpinning practice, performance and pedagogy

·      Movement/dance forms conversant with Feminist Spirituality

·      Embodied and somatic spiritualities

·      Jungian/post-Jungian dance/movement forms

·      The influence of non-Western/Eastern sacred narratives as they continue to inform Western dance practice

·      Intercultural, cross-cultural and multicultural perspectives

·      Creative transformation and life-force celebration

·      Shamanic dance traditions

·      Mysticism, movement and dance

The journal offers a diverse platform for scholars working within and across the fields of Dance Studies, Theology/Religious Studies, Anthropology, Ethnography, Sociology, Health Studies, Dance Movement Psychotherapy and Dance Histories. Dedicated to cross-dialogue and the potential inventive perspectives interdisciplinary collaboration generates, the journal aims to progress the academic study of spirituality in Dance Studies. 

Read more Posted by Eden Joseph at 10:11 (0) comments
Call for Papers and Contributions: Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices

Issue 9.1, Bodily Undoing: Somatics as Practices of Critique (published January, 2017)

Edited by Thomas Kampe and Kirsty Alexander

Deadline for full articles: 1st April 2016

Bodily Undoing: Somatics as Practices of Critique 

The transdisciplinary discourse of dance and somatic practices has moved beyond the state of identifying the field.

This special issue of JDSP calls for papers that explore and expose the socially and culturally transformative potential of somatics and somatic-informed performance practices. Somatic practices are processes of undoing existing patterns so that new ones can emerge. How can this undoing be extended beyond the body of the individual to the body politic or the social body? How might we construct somatics as practices of critique that might contribute to an alternative social imaginary?

Submissions might:

Self reflectively critique the field of somatics or one’s individual practice within that, in relation to the possibility of social change

Explore the application of somatic practices as subversive modalities of interacting with the world in other fields or disciplines

Explore emancipatory possibilities through foregrounding somatic experience

Unpack the historical roots of somatic practices in relation to wider critical cultures

Examine the political reverberations of somatically informed performance practice 

Explore the socio- cultural or political potential of touch based practices

Examine non reductionist and embodied modes of thought provoked by somatic practices

Question cultural hierarchies and structures of power within and / or through somatic practices

(this list is exemplary only and by no means exhaustive of the possibilities)

Whilst scholarly articles are particularly encouraged, we welcome a range of other modes of submission, all subject to peer review. Please see the guidelines for further details.

Submissions: 

Please include article title, abstract (200 words), keywords and full article. In another document, please include author’s name and affiliation, biography (200 words), postal and email address. Please submit in Word format. 

Guidelines: http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/MediaManager/File/JDSP_4_2_NFC_299-300.pdf and http://jdsp.coventry.ac.uk/Home.html 

Artist’s pages: Please submit a pdf with how you wish the article to appear in print, along with text (Word) and any images (tiff/jpeg/pdf, 300dpi) attached separately in the same email. 

All submissions should be sent direct to:

Hetty Blades: ac1417@coventry.ac.uk

Enquiries about content to : kirsty@independentdance.co.uk or  t.kampe@bathspa.ac.uk 

Read more Posted by Eden Joseph at 10:18 (0) comments
Q&A with editors of Crime Uncovered: Antihero and Detective

Here's what Fiona Peters and Rebecca Stewart, editors of Antihero have to say about their new book and the popularty of the genre.

What was the inspiration behind Crime Uncovered: Antihero?

The paradoxical idea of an anti-hero is one that continues to fascinate and enthral. These characters, who subvert notions of heroism, are often ineffectual and flawed, and yet we are drawn to them. Furthermore, we are enticed to be complicit in their acts of ‘anti-heroism’. This collection of essays was born out of a desire to understand why we continue to root for the anti-hero in literature, film and television, despite our conscious revulsion at some of their actions. As well as engaging with well known characters, such as Walter White of Breaking Bad fame and Patricia Highsmith’s deliciously amoral Tom Ripley,  this collection introduces readers to lesser known anti-heroes, such as John Burdett’s Royal Thai Police Detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep. 

Who are some of your favourite crime authors and why?

Agatha Christie has always been one of my Rebecca’s favourite crime fiction authors. This is partly due to the fact that she has been reading Christie since she was 11, and have been devouring her narratives ever since. Further to the sheer pleasure that she gets from her writing, you arguably get a lot more from her writing than the reputation of cosy whodunnits would suggest. Christie was a writer who in her time broke every ‘rule’ of Golden Age detective novels.

As evidenced by her chapter in the volume, Fiona’s favourite crime author is Patricia Highsmith. She became hooked after being given a copy of Deep Water in 1982, and it has been a great pleasure to her to be able to incorporate this love into her teaching and also the monograph Anxiety and Evil in the Writing of Patricia Highsmith (Ashgate, 2011) and several journal articles and book chapters, most recently this volume and her guest edited issue of Clues: A Journal of Detection (2015)

What first attracted you to the study of the crime genre and fiction?

Partly we were attracted to the study of crime fiction because we love it: this hugely popular genre is one that we have always got a lot of pleasure from. However, more than this, the critical approaches to crime fiction that have appeared in recent years, such as gender studies, narrative theory and film theory, have all inspired us to study and teach the genre. The very fact that narratives that deal with crime and detection are so diverse and essentially defy classification make the engagement with these texts so satisfying. Furthermore, with an interest in what literature can show us about social and historical contexts, the study of crime fiction is one that is particularly fruitful. 

How do you think critical and literary theory for crime fiction has grown and evolved over the years?

As can be seen in the increase of academic conferences and university courses that look at crime fiction, this genre is clearly being reassessed from a critical and theoretical perspective. Rather than being ignored or looked down upon as ‘genre fiction’, critical engagement with this genre is becoming ever more prevalent. A case in question is the international conference series Captivating Captivity, that has been run by us at Bath Spa University, and that continues to identify different relevant themes every years – ones that prove to demonstrate that crime fiction is more than a genre but a way of thinking about the world. 

What do you think makes Intellect’s Crime uncovered series stand out from the rest?

What we find most exciting about this series is that it presents a focused discussion of some of the key areas in which crime fiction illustrates and reflects on social and individual morality, in this case the Anti-Hero, but also seen in the collection of essays dealing with the Detective. Furthermore, the volumes all include a variety of different perspectives and authors/series in one book, something that is not available elsewhere at the present time. The mixture of current and well known authors/series with the lesser known will allow the reader to both learn more about what they know, and be introduced into what they have yet to discover.

Find below a Q&A with the editor of Detective, Barry Forshaw and his thoughts on the book and the genre.

How would you describe the Crime-Uncovered series in a few words?

Crime Uncovered is a series that manages the nigh-impossible: fresh and provocative insights into a much-covered genre that sends readers back to the wonderful original material.

What first attracted you to the study of crime fiction?

In my case, it's a question of natural selection. I’d always loved the genre (both on the page and on the screen), but no more than (say) literary novels, the gothic or science fiction. But writing for various newspapers – and being commissioned by various publishers – to cover the crime fiction genre, I became (almost by default) one of the authorities. But I'm not complaining!

Do you have any favourite crime authors and books?

In the US: Ross Macdonald and Patricia Highsmith. In the UK: Graham Greene (in his ‘entertainments’ mode), Conan Doyle and Eric Ambler. Otherwise, far too many to mention.

What do you think makes Intellect’s crime uncovered series stand out from others?A stimulating combination of the accessible and the academic, always a rare balancing act to bring off successfully

Did you learn anything new about the genre whilst editing this book

Whenever I'm editing books on crime fiction by other writers, I learn something new every day. And I fervently hope that continues to be the case!

Read more Posted by Eden Joseph at 14:34 (0) comments
Interview with Alistair Rolls and Michael Tapper

We hope you enjoy reading the interview and don't forget to enter our competition to win the Detective and Antihero books!

Alistair Rolls, Co-editor with Rachel Franks for Crime Uncovered: Private Investigator

Why do you think the crime genre is so popular?

There are a couple of theses that I find quite compelling. The idea of solving the plot, of competing with the detective is not one of them, I must admit. I prefer the nostalgic edge of crime, much of which, especially when televised, is period drama. I also like crime fiction in contradistinction to what is now often referred to as “literary fiction”, simply because so much of the latter is so affected nowadays, with an emphasis on a simplicity of expression that (all too often, and I suppose this is a personal take) borders on the banal. The need to focus on the intrigue, which is necessary to make the crime “work”, keeps authors honest, I think, and stops them being overly conscious of “being writers”. This is tied in with the idea that crime, as a result of this overvaluation of the objects of our daily lives (turned into material evidence), is the new Realism.

Do you have any favourite crime TV shows, movies or books?

I am a bit of a sucker for most BBC crime drama, what we call in Australia “Friday Night Crime”. I very much like reading Agatha Christie, also Andrea Camilleri. I also like reading the early works of the Série Noire in their French translations, especially authors like Peter Cheyney (who is quite unpalatable in the original English) and James Hadley Chase. My favourite translated novelist of that era is Carter Brown, I think, especially his Mavis Seidlitz novels, which were really well rendered by their French translators at Gallimard. My favourite contemporary author is undoubtedly the French author Fred Vargas, whose works, unlike Camilleri’s (which I find very well translated, I must add), I am fortunate enough to be able to read in the original. Commissaire Adamsberg is the most original detective figure I have come across in contemporary crime fiction. I mustn’t let a chance go by, though, to put in a plug for the Hunter Valley’s own Barry Maitland. (Barry and I both live in the Hunter, in New South Wales, 150 kms north of Sydney.) I have read all of his books (apart from the latest one, Ash Island, which will be on my summer-reading list) and am a big fan.

Why do you think Intellect’s Crime Uncovered series stands out from the rest?

Intellect are keen to find an intersection between the scholarly community and the general public. Crime fiction is an excellent common ground.

If you could be any anti-hero or a detective who would you be and why?

I hesitated before writing my answer to this one. At first, I was going to say Captain Hastings or Dr Watson, both swanning about in a pre-digital era, able to concentrate on the task at hand (and without the ultimate responsibility of Poirot and Holmes). The UK series Sherlock did, to my mind, an excellent job of problematizing my first idea: Watson is plugged into the modern world of social media, and this is built in to the storyline to great effect. I realized that this answer, born of this fairly common nostalgia for a bygone era, is not limited to “historical” fiction, however; all the protagonists of our favourite crime shows appear to have the time to use the tools of their trade (typically their minds, and, of course, an oversized glass of alcohol when looking at scene-of-crime photos on their laptops), whereas the tool of my trade, my computer, seems to be there to exist, perversely, to prevent me from working by bombarding me with email. A “realistic” crime show that focused on investigative admin would have far less success, of course… So, by Friday night I’d rather be any TV homicide detective rather than an academic. This is why it’s called fiction, after all.

Michael Tapper, Swedish Cops: From Sjöwall & Wahlöö to Stieg Larsson

What was the inspiration behind your book Swedish Cops?

The main inspiration was the fact that there was no scholarly book – or any good book – on Swedish crime fiction.  This I discovered to my surprise when I wrote an essay about a crime film – Zero Tolerance (1999) by Anders Nilsson – for a 2006 anthology on contemporary Swedish cinema. Having grown up in the politically turbulent climate of the 1970s I already knew much about the background of the most famous authors and filmmakers in the genre as well as the ideological ideas and real-life inspirations behind their work.

I had but to compile all the references and start writing the book that eventually also became my dissertation in cinema studies. The work itself was also a way for me to go back into my own historical past and try to make sense of the ideological changes that took place from 1965 till 2012.  In hindsight I like to think of the work as a detective work in itself. I had a few clues, but there were also quite a few surprises on the way from start to finish.

What are some of your favourite crime books and films?

Of the authors I wrote about, I would single out Roslund & Hellström and Stieg Larsson. A strange combination, perhaps, considering that they represent two opposites in style: crime realism and crime fantasy. Interestingly both Anders Roslund and Stieg Larsson have a journalist background, but whereas Larsson sat behind a desk rewriting news telegrams Roslund was working out in the streets, making reportages and documentaries (that’s where he met his co-author Hellström, a reformed jailbird).

Stieg Larsson is decidedly the most stylistically apt and genre-savvy. His studies of feminist crime fiction and science fiction gel into the rape-and-revenge terminator Lisbeth Salander. It is a pity, though, that the English translation of his work is so bad (see John-Henri Holmberg’s essay ‘The Novels You Read Are Not Necessarily the Novels Stieg Larsson Wrote’ in the anthology Secrets of the Tattooed Girl), because his literacy in crime and science fiction is a big part of the attraction of his books.

R&H, on the other hand, really transport you to the mean streets of today’s neoliberal dystopia and into the heads of the precariat. The world and the people they describe are largely made invisible by a mainstream journalism catering to the Home Beauty middle-class. But although the stories put you through a raw and horrible experience, the authors always manage to find moments of poetry. Sometimes it comes from the darkest and most ugly places, but it can also come from brief moments of happiness and insight.

Outside of Sweden there are far too many good authors in crime fiction than I can find time and place to mention here. A selection of few would include Raymond Chandler, Ed McBain (of course), Sara Paretsky, Val McDermid, James Ellroy and George V. Higgins, but every time I do a list I have a terrible feeling of leaving many more and just as great names out of it.

Unfortunately, there no really good Swedish crime film directors. There are a few good films and TV series, like Bo Widerberg’s Man on the Roof (1976) and Mikael Marcimain’s The Laser Man (2005), but no great tradition. The crime franchises of later years such as the Swedish Wallander, Beck and Johan Falk film series are made on the assembly line. Really terrible from an artistic point of view.

In contrast there is a wealth of artistic talent in both the US and the UK traditions with films such as William Friedkin’s The French Connection (1971), Peter Yates’ The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973), Mike Hodges Get Carter! (1971, I also like his Croupier from 1998 and I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead from 2003), most of Martin Scorsese’s crime and urban paranoia films (Mean Streets, 1973; Taxi Driver, 1976; Cape Fear, 1990), John Mackenzie’s The Long Good Friday (1980), Jonathan Glazer’s Sexy Beast (2000), Jane Campion’s In the Cut (2003), Spike Lee’s Inside Man (2006), Sidney Lumets many police and crime films (Serpico, 1973; Prince of the City, 1980; Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, 2008)… I can go on and on.

Where does your own academic interests lie?

Well, genre studies, obviously, because I consider genre films to be of utmost interest when studying social and political change. For me film is an essential part and reflection of history, perhaps more so in the 20th century than in the 21st as TV series, video games and internet attractions seem to be of increasing importance as zeitgeist seismographs. Recently, however, I have become interested in Ingmar Bergman, and for the same reason. Rejecting the usual auteurist navel-gazing, I plan a series of books on his films from a historical point of view, i.e. studying the films in a historical context.

What do you think makes Swedish crime fiction stand out from other parts of the world?

Exoticism is a crucial element. As I describe in my book, there is a long and ideologically motivated tradition of portraying Sweden as something odd and even bizarre in its so-called Third Way between capitalism and communism. Utopian perfection on the outside, masking a Dystopian chaos on the inside. Strangely, the very fall from this Utopian state – i.e. the social-liberal welfare state – to the neoliberal gutter we are now living in has been taken as a confirmation that the previous social order was something rotten.

How did you become interested in crime theory and fiction?

There are no genres more suited to dissect society than crime fiction. A police is able to penetrate all social levels, open any dark archive and kick down any doors no matter how nice the façade might be. In my mind we have only begun to explore the genre’s narrative and stylistic possibilities. There are so much potential for the authors and filmmakers who are able to break out of the mainstream mold of puzzle detective stories masked as police investigations.  Looking at a world of increasing inequality in which the 85 richest families own and/or control as much as the 3.5 billion poorest there seems to be a good opportunity for those who want to explore white-collar crime, environmental crime and exploitation of labour. Also, we have a huge weapons and military research industry with disturbing political influence. There are many mean streets for today’s detectives to shine a light on. 

Read more Posted by Eden Joseph at 10:09 (0) comments