Call for papers


Producers, distributors and audiences of European crime narratives

30 September to October 2 2019

 Aalborg University

Confirmed keynote speakers

Robert Saunders (Farmingdale State College, SUNY)

Arne Dahl (penname for Jan Arnald)

Annette Hill (Lund University)

Gunhild Agger (Aalborg University)

Anna Estera Mrozewicz (Adam Mickiewicz University)

Katrine Vogelsang (head of fiction, TV 2 Denmark)

Jennifer Green (executive producer, TV 2 Denmark)

 Submissions are welcome as open call papers and pre-constituted panels.
Submit your proposal (max 300 words) to through this website:

Although a widely popular genre for over a century, crime narratives are
presently experiencing an unprecedented popularity all across Europe. In
the fields of literature and television, we are witnessing a deluge of
episodes and series utilizing crime and violence as a central source of
inspiration. Reaching into the shadows of societal construction, these
narratives do more than simply fascinate readers and viewers with
fantasies of extreme brutality; at best, they express a remarkable
tension in social engagement worthy of a critical and scholarly
response. More than any other narrative genre, the crime genre has
proven able to travel across the European continent and beyond, becoming
a vehicle for cultural exchange and debate (Nestingen 2008).

As a result, the generic concept noir is now common among producers,
distributors and audiences of crime fiction, and increasingly noir
narratives have been located in recognizable places and regions across
Europe. Several labels have been coined in order to identify different
strands of EURONOIR by means of geographical qualifiers such as
Mediterranean, Tartan, Catalan, Nordic etc. (Hansen, Turnbull and
Peacock 2018). Besides evoking transborder cultural exchange, crime
narratives are today a strategic means in European place branding on
local, regional, national and transnational levels of communication.

Such spatial labels evoke local and regional narrative/visual styles
that, carefully built by authors, publishers and producers, at the same
time may achieve transnational success in foreign markets. Exchange
between different strands of EURONOIR is creating new opportunities for
generic and cultural hybridization. The international appropriation of
certain stylistic features of Nordic Noir (possibly the most popular
cross-media production strand on the continent for the past decade) in a
great number of European crime narratives is a most interesting case in

Through especially the 1990’s, producers and distributors turned to
international collaboration and circulation as a significant way of
funding increasingly expensive film and television, here with the crime
genre as an especially exploitable vehicle for international attention.
In the increasing demand for crime film and television, producers turned
to the vast European traditions of crime literature and utilized
familiar franchises in crime narrative adaptations. The popularity of
EURONOIR has since been fueled by a plethora of translations,
co-production agreements, local, regional and transnational policy
changes as well as transnational distribution channels and services.

Although EURONOIR is historically linked to the degrading notion of
Euro-pudding, “a co-production determined by the necessities of funding”
(Eleftheriotis 2001) or even “a perversion of the system” (Liz 2015),
there has been a steady rise in successful trans-European
co-productions, especially within film and television production. As a
result, crime narratives are now rather labelled “natural transnational
cop stories” (Bondebjerg 2016), since the topicality of the genre works
very well with transborder activities. Significant transborder
television crime fiction titles are Eurocops (1988-94), Crossing Lines
(2013-) and The Team (2015-). As a concept, then, EURONOIR has gone from
being a critical perspective on funding methods to now involve neutral
references to cross-media crime fiction from somewhere in Europe
(Forshaw 2013). Conceivably, EURONOIR is merely crime literature,
television and film from anywhere in Europe, fostering potential social
debates on a continental level.

In the new millennium, the “digital revolution” (Levy 2001) and “the
Netflix effect” (McDonald and Smith-Rowsey 2016) has disrupted both
production and distribution, challenging traditional distribution
channels and providing new transnational opportunities for producers and
audiences. In this context, written and screened crime fiction is one of
the most important market drivers of transnational cultural exchange in
Europe and beyond. Besides distributing dozens of crime titles, SVOD
services also engage directly in producing crime films and serials,
singling out crime narratives as an important way of penetrating local
markets as well as reaching global audiences through digital streaming

The organizers invite speakers to present work on the production,
distribution and reception of explicitly transnational European crime
narratives as well as more local strands of European crime narratives
production, distribution and reception. This includes significant market
players and institutions in/across Europe, transcontinental creative and
culture industrial processes and practices as well as more locally and
regionally successful and less successful crime narratives. The
conference invites papers on European crime narratives from 1989 until

*Thematic concerns of the conference include, but are not limited to the
following topics:*


• What do we conceptualize as EURONOIR?

• What does EURONOIR mean for producers, distributors and audiences?

• What are the major failures and pitfalls of EURONOIR?

• In which ways do the production, distribution and reception of crime
narratives forge a spatial negotiation of Europe and European cultures
and identities?

• What will be the future major tendencies in European crime narratives?

• What role does national cinemas play within EURONOIR?


• What are the significant contemporary European market players in crime
production and distribution?

• How has the production and distribution of the crime genre changed
during the past three decades?

• How has changing funding and media policies affected the production of
crime narratives?

• How has production and distribution of crime narratives been affected
by new transnational streaming services?

• Where are the crime stories located, and has the location strategies
of crime narratives changed?

• Do writers and producers of crime fiction have specific European
audiences in mind?


• (How) do the audiences of crime narratives conceive of Europe?

• How has the European consumption of the crime genre changed during the
past three decades?

• How do audiences experience European crime fiction?

• In which ways has the critical reception of crime narratives changed?

• How does audiences’ reception of crime narratives affect the
production the crime genre?

• How do audiences creatively engage with European crime narratives?

The conference will include industry and keynote panels with invited
speakers from European crime production and crime narratives research.

*Deadlines and practicalities*

Abstracts: Deadline: 15 April 2019

Feedback: 15 May 2019

Registration deadline: 1 August 2019 (online on the conference website)

More info:

Conference fee: €240

Early bird registration: €175

PhD students: €125

Conference dinner: €80 (not included in the fee)

Other costs: Participants cover costs for travel, accommodation etc.

Organizing committee: Kim Toft Hansen (Aalborg University), Lynge
Stegger Gemzøe (Aalborg University), Pia Majbritt Jensen (Aarhus
University) and Anne Marit Waade (Aarhus University).

Academic board: Stefano Baschiera (Queens University of Belfast), Anna
Keszeg (University of Debrecen), Jacques Migozzi (University of
Limoges), Valentina Re (Link Campus University of Rome).

The conference is hosted by the Horizon 2020 research project DETECt:
Detecting Transcultural Identity in European Popular Crime Narratives
and co-financed by Aarhus University and Aalborg University.


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