November 29, 2016

Call For Papers: Criminal American: Reading, Studying, and Teaching American Crime Fiction: American Literature Association Symposium, March 3-4, 2017

Criminal America: Reading, Studying and Teaching American Crime Fiction

Call for Papers

American Literature Association Symposium 

“Criminal America:  Reading, Studying and Teaching  American Crime Fiction”

March 3-4 2017

Keynote Speaker:
Charles Rzepka, Boston University

ALA symposia provide opportunities for scholars to meet in pleasant settings, present papers, and share ideas and resources. The March 2017 symposium will focus on American crime fiction, ranging from Poe to the present and beyond, and including all varieties of the genre, from hard-boiled to puzzle mysteries, locked rooms to global conspiracies, dime novels to experimental texts. Subjects might include, but are not limited to, the following:
Crime fiction and space; representing class, race, and gender; periodizing the genre; Poe’s precursors; narrative technique; adaptations; the future of the genre; teaching crime fiction; literary vs genre fiction.
While we welcome individual proposals, panels and roundtable discussions are also encouraged.
Location: Palmer House Hilton
17 E Monroe St
Chicago, IL 60603
Hotel Rate: The Palmer House Hilton is offering a special rate of $149 (plus tax) per night for a single or double room. This is a great location in the heart of downtown Chicago.
Conference Director:
David Schmid, University at Buffalo
Conference Fee: $150
Conference fee includes lunch on both days, as well as a Friday evening reception.
Please email all proposals to David Schmid
before December 1, 2016
Please note: We hope to produce an edited volume made up of the best work presented at the conference.
Conference Details: The American Literature Association will meet in Chicago for a symposium on American crime fiction, March 3-4 2017. Please plan to stay in the conference hotel as this helps us meet our commitment to the hotel and keeps our rates low.
To make your hotel reservations online, click on the link below:
Sessions run Friday and Saturday, March 3-4. There will be an opening reception on Thursday evening as well as receptions Friday and Saturday evening. Lunch will be served Friday and Saturday. Please note that luncheon preferences will be sent to conference participants at a later date.
Individuals may propose papers or panels by emailing the conference director, David Schmid, at no later than December 1, 2016. The proposal should include the title of the presentation or panel, an abstract that provides the conference director with a clear idea of the material that will be covered, a brief vita or description of the presenter’s qualifications, and complete mailing addresses and emails for all participants. The proposal should be both pasted into an email and sent as an attachment (preferably in WORD). All emails will be acknowledged in a timely manner. The conference director welcomes proposals for roundtables and panels that deal with the development of important genres and literary movements. Please note that no audiovisual equipment will be available for the symposium.
Those proposing papers and/or panels will be informed of acceptances in early January. Participants will be asked to make their hotel reservations immediately and to pre-register on-line. If necessary, the registration fee and form can be mailed using the material posted at the end of this announcement. A program will be placed on the ALA website prior to our meeting, and printed programs will be available at the symposium.
ALA Guidelines: The most common ALA format is a time slot of one hour and twenty minutes with three papers and a chair. This permits time for discussion and three papers of approximately 20 minutes (or nine typed double-spaced pages). Organizers of panels are free to use other formats provided they respect the time limits. Furthermore, the ALA encourages panel organizers to experiment with innovative formats including discussion groups and panels featuring more speakers and briefer papers. Chairs will make sure that the panels start and end on time and that no speaker goes beyond the allotted time limit. We prefer that chairs not present papers on the panels that they are moderating, and no one may present more than one paper at an ALA symposium.
The conference fee covers the costs of the conference including two meals and two receptions. We encourage all of those who are on the program to pre-register. The conference fee is $150 for all participants. We regret that we are unable to offer a lower rate for graduate students and independent scholars for this symposium.
*We prefer that you register online. To do so, click on the link below.
ALA Membership: Membership in the ALA is not required in order to propose or present a paper. In fact, technically the members of the American Literature Association are the various author societies. Individuals may keep informed about the activities of the ALA by checking our website (, which is the primary source for information about ALA activities. Individuals can also be placed on a mailing list by sending their contact information to: Alfred Bendixen, Executive Director of the ALA, at Those on the mailing list will receive copies of the annual call for papers and the conference announcement/registration packet.
The easiest way to find out about the symposium and all ALA activities is by consulting our website:
Please note that the American Literature Association maintains the lowest conference fees of any major scholarly organization because it operates without a paid staff. If you have any questions that are not answered by this announcement, please contact the conference director at or Alfred Bendixen, Executive Director of the ALA, at
Thank you for your interest and your support of the American Literature Association.

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