Department of European Languages and Cultures

Noir Aesthetics in World Literatures

Organised by the Language and Violence Research Strand and the Department of European Languages and Cultures (DELC), this one-day symposium will focus on the evolution of narrative techniques towards noir aesthetics in world literatures.

Featuring papers by selected researchers, and a conversation with invited author, Christopher Brookmyre, it will look at texts which favour the adoption of a new consciousness towards cultural politics, as they reinforce the connection between literature and public affairs. 

About the symposium theme

Noir aesthetics have become popular in contemporary literary production due to the growing interest in fiction that explores mystery and crime. The enormous success of American noir, Scandinavian noir or Tartan noir is also a force in other literary traditions. Fred Vargas’ Pars vite et reviens tard (2004), Massimo Carlotto’s L’oscura immensità della morte (2004), Claudia Piñeiro’s Betibú (2011) or the Akashic noir series, among others, bear witness to this phenomenon. 

Crime fiction, narcoliteratura, detective novel or hardboiled fiction are some of the terms used to refer to this new drive in contemporary literature that approaches the existing violence in a society that is still trying to adapt to the new world order. They represent an interesting corpus for analysing the cultural dimension of issues related to subalternity, oppression, hegemonic masculinity, class struggles, globalisation and the neoliberal era, since they illustrate how society has changed due to different historical conditionings.

Photo of Christoper Brookmyre
Christopher Brookmyre

About Christopher Brookmyre

Scottish author Christopher Brookmyre will be in conversation to discuss some of the issues here presented. His debut novel Quite Ugly One Morning (1996) is the first of a long and productive career that includes more than twenty works of fiction. With a very personal sense of humour, Brookmyre engages the reader with narratives characterised by their strong critical view on politics and social justice. His latest novel, Want You Gone, was published in 2017.

Call for Papers

The Call for Papers is now open. Submissions are welcome until 28th February 2018.

We invite all those who wish to participate in the ‘Noir Aesthetics in World Literatures’ symposium to send their proposals for twenty-minute papers, exploring the questions presented above, with an abstract of no more than 300 words to v1malons@ed.ac.uk by 28th February 2018..

Acceptance will be notified by the beginning of March 2018.

Conference Organisers

Dr María Alonso Alonso, Dr Charlotte Bosseaux, Dr Véronique Desnain and Dr Fiona Mackintosh.

Noir Aesthetics in World Literatures

A one-day symposium on the evolution of narrative techniques towards noir aesthetics in world literatures.

Project Room (1.06)
50 George Square
Edinburgh
EH8 9LH