CFP: The Matter of Murder: Murderous Acts, Cultural Contexts, Canadian Literary Media
While an entrenched tradition in Canadian literary studies falls under the amorphous and broad category of thematic criticism (nature, geography, border, landscape, region, and so on), the proposed collection seeks essays that work loosely within that tradition but also expand upon it to encompass new subject-matter: murder. With a likewise entrenched mythology related to respect for nature, intercultural harmoniousness, and historical peacefulness, a popular global reputation for model livability (alongside being sedate to a fault), and crime rates amongst the lowest in the world, Canada cannot be said to seethe with a sense of murderousness. Its genres of storytelling, however, conjure a counter-narrative. From multi-genre works of literary fiction—ranging from Michael Winter’s The Death of Donna Whalen, Lynn Crosbie’s Dorothy L’Amour, and R.M. Vaughan’s Spells to Eden Robinson’s Blood Sports, George Elliott Clarke’s George & Rue, and Margaret Atwood’s Maddaddam Trilogy—to poetry (from Elizabeth Bachinsky and Rachel Rose to Evelyn Lau), graphic novels, drama (Don Hannah’s The Woodcutter through to Sharon Pollack’s Blood Relations), and audiovisual media (film, television, etc) there is a preponderance of meditations on and depictions of murderous acts—homicide, suicide, genocide—within Canada’s litero-creative enterprise. Amongst the questions raised by the abundance of forms representing and/or reflecting on murder are “What does murder signify?” and, “If, after Alan Sinfield, these works stand for cultural reproduction (re: ‘Societies have to reproduce themselves culturally as well as materially, and this is done in great part by putting into circulation stories of how the world goes’), what murder-themed accounts of ‘how Canada goes’ are being put into circulation and with what results and purposes?” In the own ways the essays of this collection will address these concerns.
The editors of The Matter of Murder have an agreement for publication with Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
Topics/approaches that might be taken into consideration:
· Representation of social and economic class
· Sexuality and gender
· Geo-politics, governmental structure, ideology, knowledge
· Community, ethnicity, race, territory
· Spirituality, religion, mythology, history
· Consumerism, media, popular culture
· Popular historiography
· Genre works (including but not limited to science fiction, YA fiction, historical fiction)
* Please feel encouraged to forward this to any organizations, individuals, or mailing lists that might be interested *
Please send a brief query and/or a 300-word (maximum) proposal to Gisele Baxter and Brett Josef Grubisic (eds.) at firstname.lastname@example.org by 30 August 2014 and include a bio-bibliographical note. Accepted essays will be due 1 January 2015 and should be between 4000 and 6000 words.