Contemporary Crime Narratives : Mapping a world of crime

Research output: Conference PapersRGC 33 - Other conference paper

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Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPresented - 22 Jul 2021


TitleDark Economies: Anxious Futures, Fearful Pasts
LocationFalmouth University
PlaceUnited Kingdom
Period21 - 23 July 2021


Crime narratives have become one of the most popular, trans-media, genres in the twenty-first century’s globalised media culture. These popular narratives include re-imagined versions of the interwar ‘cosy’ whodunnit and comedic mystery films, but the dominant forms of the genre, on the page and small and large screens, are much bleaker than this, emphasising systematic violence, loss, corruption, and betrayal on the individual, domestic, national and global scale. From individual victims to whole societies, contemporary crime narratives tell stories about the ubiquity of crime and its ubiquitous impact. The genre offers, in other words, a view of what, in line with the theme of this conference, can be described as a ‘dark economy’ in which individual, families, and nations are involved, willingly or unwillingly, in a series of transactions based on violence, coercion, and corruption. Drawing on case studies from a broad range of international late twentieth and twenty-first century crime narratives in a variety of genres, this paper will map out some of the main strands of contemporary crime narratives’ representation of this darkly imagined world in which crime, broadly construed, circulates through and between both individual bodies and the body politic.

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Citation Format(s)

Contemporary Crime Narratives: Mapping a world of crime. / Sandberg, Eric.
2021. Dark Economies: Anxious Futures, Fearful Pasts, Falmouth, United Kingdom.

Research output: Conference PapersRGC 33 - Other conference paper