Serial disquiet: criminal entertainment in times of global and private uncertainties 
Regina F. Bendix (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)
Christine Hämmerling (University of Zurich)
Brigitte Frizzoni (University of Zurich)
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Thursday 12 July, 11:30-13:15 (UTC+0)

Short Abstract:

Crime series are enjoyed by millions around the globe. Simultaneously civil societies strive to combat crime. This workshop investigates diversely mediated mystery formats and their audiences, focusing on the tension between the fictional pleasure and political undesirability inherent to crime.

Long Abstract

Detective stories, crime series, and police-serials are enjoyed by millions of readers and viewers around the globe and hold a place of importance for a sizable number of a given population. Simultaneously civil societies strive to combat crime as a source of anxiety and unrest. This workshop "investigates" the place of crime formats in diverse media in everyday life with a view toward the tension between the fictional pleasure and political undesirability inherent to crime.

Drawing on media anthropological perspectives and ethnographic work, we invite contributions that address questions on the nature and reception of crime-based entertainment. The overall question - does fictional disquiet lessen feelings of actual insecurity? - might be addressed under topics such as the following: How are crime formats consumed, experienced and perceived in specific socio-cultural settings? Under what political or social circumstances do people enjoy crime fiction? Does the popularity and nature of police series differ depending on what kind of political systems its consumers inhabit? Is it a genre most at ease within democracies? To what extend do crime mysteries shape recipients' understanding of disquiet? How are images of marginality and mainstream communicated to and perceived by mystery audiences? What role does gender play with regard to real versus fictional crime perception and issues of public and private safety? How does seriality and (relative) predictability interface with cultural experiences of uncertainty? What is cozy about a thriller?

Accepted papers: