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 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 one set in the near-future police procedural series: The Red Queen Dies (2013) and What the Fly Saw (2015).
David is Associate Professor of English at SUNY Buffalo. 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 book 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, urban studies, horror and masculinity.
Steph is the author of Your House Will Pay (2019), winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the California Book Award, and the Juniper Song crime trilogy. She 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.
Chair: Andrew Pepper (Queen’s University Belfast)
Steph Cha will read from and answer questions about Your House Will Pay at the end of the roundtable discussion.