Monday, 1 November 2021

Crime Fiction, Policing and Racial Injustice

 Crime Fiction, Policing and Racial Injustice

Wednesday 10 November

6pm UK; 1pm EST; 10am Pacific.

This session will run for around 1.5 hours.



In this panel session, Frankie Bailey, a renowned criminal justice academic and crime novelist, Steph Cha, crime novelist and winner of the 2019 LA Book Prize, and academic and pop culture expert David Schmid discuss the capacities of crime fiction to critically reflect on the failures of policing in the US and the ongoing search for racial justice. The issue of whether a form or genre given over to the investigation of crime and that aims to give readers answers and resolutions can get to grips with the brokenness of the justice system will be discussed. As will the question of how to portray the police and policing in light of the killing of unarmed black men and women – and whether the traditional police procedural form is fit for purpose.

The roundtable discussion will last for about an hour. In the final 30 minutes, Steph Cha will read from her 2019 prize-winning novel Your House Will Pay and will answer questions about it.

Frankie Y Bailey (SUNY Albany)

Frankie is Professor of Criminal Justice in the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs at SUNY Albany. As well as being a prolific academic whose work explores the intersections of crime, social history and popular culture, including Out of the Woodpile: Black Characters Crime and Detective Fiction (1991), she is the author of two separate crime fiction series, including a police procedural series featuring biracial police detective. Hannah McCabe, set in a near-future Albany: The Red Queen Dies (2013) and What the Fly Saw (2015). 

Steph Cha

Steph is the author of three crime novels featuring amateur sleuth and apprentice PI Juniper Song including Follow Her Home(2013). She is also the author of Your House Will Pay (2019), which examines the lasting consequences of the 1992 Los Angeles riots and shines a light at the contemporary injustices of policing and justice system. Your House Will Pay won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the California Book Award. Steph is a critic whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, where she served as noir editor, and is the current series editor of the Best American Mystery & Suspense anthology. 

David Schmid (SUNY Buffalo)

David is Associate Professor of English at SUNY Buffalo and one of the foremost scholars of crime fiction and pop culture. His research focuses on Americans’ unusual fascination with murder and murderers and the development of the popular culture of true crime in the U.S. He is the author of the ground-breaking study Natural Born Celebrities: Serial Killers in American Culture (U of Chicago Press 2005) as well as numerous edited books, anthologies and essays on crime fiction, violence, urban culture, horror and masculinity.

Chair: Andrew Pepper (Queen’s University Belfast,


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