Tag Archives: popular culture

Crime Fiction Conferences in 2014/2

Barbara Pezzotti    ACIS

cropped-wordpress_cover_2014_1Dear crime fiction lovers, here two more conferences that will take place in 2014: “True Crime. Facts, Fiction, Ideology” Conference, Manchester, 6-7 June 2014; and “Crime Fiction: Here and There and Again”,  2nd International Postgraduate Conference, University of Gdańsk (Poland) and the State School of Higher Professional Education in Elbląg, 11-13 September 2014. The deadline for presenting an abstract for both conferences is 31 March.They both look very interesting. Continue reading

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Crime Fiction Conferences in 2014/1

Barbara Pezzotti   ACIS

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The year 2014 has been blessed with quite a few crime fiction conferences. Here are the first two, whose deadlines for sending an abstract are 6 January and 1 February respectively: “Captivating Criminality. Crime Fiction, Darkness and Desire” Conference, Bath Spa University and Crime Studies Network (24-26 April 2014); and “Evil Incarnate: Manifestations of Villains and Villainy“, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland (11-13 July).

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Masterpiece: Italy’s new literary talent show

Brigid Maher   La Trobe University

Sala208-660x369While we often hear that Italians aren’t big readers, it seems the country is full of aspiring authors. This week saw the premiere on Rai 3 of Masterpiece, billed as “il primo talent letterario al mondo”. The winner will have the chance to publish their book with Bompiani, in 100,000 copies, and this must have been a very appealing prospect to the country’s unpublished writers, because the producers received 5000 manuscripts from would-be contestants across the country. Continue reading

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Disfunctional Female Detectives: the Exception or the Norm?

Barbara Pezzotti   ACIS

I have recently been watching the Danish/Swedish TV series “The Bridge” which, like many other hundreds of thousands of people in the world, I am enjoying very much. However, I can’t help but being a little annoyed by the female protagonist, who, like many other fictional female detectives nowadays, is disfunctional. Actually, in “The Bridge” case, very, very disfunctional. The Swedish detective Saga, who shows an extreme lack of empathy towards colleagues, witnesses, victims and whoever is involved in her investigations and life, is in good company.

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Scerbanenco, new translation welcome

Barbara Pezzotti   ACIS

I was very pleased to know that a new translation into English of Giorgio Scerbanenco’s “Traditori di tutti” (1966) has finally appeared this year. Published under the title of “Betrayal” by Hersilia Press, this new translation by Howard Curtis finally does justice to Scerbanenco’s distinctive style and (after more than forty years) re-introduces  a masterpiece of Italian crime fiction to an English-speaking audience. When they first appeared in the 1960s, the adventures of Duca Lamberti, a former doctor struck off the register and imprisoned for practising euthanasia, captured first the attention and then the devotion of a large number of crime fiction readers in Italy.

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Fabrizio De André, popular intellectual

Guendalina Carbonelli   Monash University

I cannot remember the first time I came across Fabrizio. I was a child when like many Italians I started to listen to his songs with my parents and my older siblings. At that age his songs were fairytales to me; as I grew up, however, I realised that his songs had a very provocative component.Fabrizio_De_André2 My academic interest in De André is far more recent, however, and was triggered by the many initiatives that in 2009 were dedicated to the 10th anniversary of his death. The event was celebrated with books, successful tv shows and in particular a touring exhibition which visited Genoa, Rome, Nuoro, Palermo, and Milan between January 2009 and October 2010. 144,000 people went to the exhibition during the first 6 months in Genoa alone and about 150,000 in Nuoro and Rome. Visits by celebrities and politicians helped to boost the wide national response to the exhibition. In 2009 Cristiano De André, Fabrizio’s son and a singer-songwriter himself, started a tour in which he sang his father’s songs. The tour lasted two years and reached an audience of more than 500,000 people. I found all this attention quite unusual, even for a cantautore as popular as De André: I wondered why he was able to generate such a significant level of interest.

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International Crime Fiction Conference in Galway/2

Barbara Pezzotti   ACIS

At the “Gender and Sexuality in the Crime Genre” conference just finished in Galway, I attended a very interesting keynote address by Lisa Downing (University of Birmingham) entitled “Romancing the Cannibal: Genre and Gender Trouble in Thomas Harris’s “Hannibal” (1999). In her speech, Downing describes the character of Hannibal the Cannibal as “the poster-boy” of the exceptional murder and the most celebrated fictional serial killer.  According to this scholar, in a “postmodern decadent text” Hannibal embodies the “consumer habits of late capitalism”. She also highlights an evolution in the character from previous novels of the series and comments on the reaction of the readers to a more humanized Hannibal.

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Crime Fiction Conference in Galway/1

Barbara Pezzotti   ACIS

I have just come back from Galway where I attended the international crime fiction conference “Gender and Sexuality in the Crime Genre”. Organized by Kate Quinn (University of Galway) and Marieke Krajenbrink (University of Limerick), the conference hosted a great number of interesting papers from scholars coming from Europe, the USA, Australia, India, Kuwait, Russia and Taiwan. The conference also hosted two keynote addresses, one by Andrew Pepper (Queen’s University, Belfast) and the other by Lisa Downing (University of Birmingham). In this post I will talk about Pepper’s presentation, while a subsequent post will be devoted to Downing’s speech.

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Crime fiction conference in Leeds

Barbara Pezzotti   ACIS

The University of Leeds is hosting a very interesting conference on crime fiction next September. Here is some information:

Cross-disciplinary Conference: “Retold, Resold, Transformed: Crime Fiction in the Modern Era”, University of Leeds and the Crime Studies Network, 17th and 18th of September 2013. Deadline for call for papers: 13 May 2013. For more information and the call for papers, click here.

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Detective in love

Barbara Pezzotti   Wellington

My friend and crime fiction enthusiast David Moss has recently wondered about the ways detectives are embedded in key social relations: their parents, families, and girlfriends. He commented that most of the fictional Italian sleuths he knew were males and had a troubled relationship with women. Indeed, following a tradition of the hard-boiled novel, most Italian investigators don’t have a stable partner and are often victim of the stereotypical femme fatale. Pinketts’s Lazzaro Santandrea happily swirls from one woman to another

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