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‘James Ellroy: Visions of Noir’ 2 July 2015, University of Liverpool

February 5, 2015

I’m excited to announce that ‘James Ellroy: Visions of Noir’  will take at the University of Liverpool, 1-3 July 2015. The call for papers, including details of how to submit a proposal is below:

Photo Credit: Mark Coggins

Photo Credit: Mark Coggins

‘James Ellroy: Visions of Noir’ 2 July 2015, will be held at the University of Liverpool and sponsored by the School of English. This conference will examine Ellroy’s influence on the genre, his inspirations as a writer and his achievements in forging an idiosyncratic and unique style. We seek to foster an interdisciplinary approach in order to explore subjects such as Ellroy’s reinterpretation of the history of Los Angeles and the United States, as well as the connections between genre fiction and cinema through film noir. Our keynote speaker is journalist and critic Woody Haut, who has written on how Ellroy’s work has led to a reassessment of crime fiction as ‘at its most subversive not when it retreats into the confines of the genre, but when it stretches its narrative boundaries and rules regarding subject, style and plot.’ His works include Neon Noir: Contemporary American Crime Fiction (1999) and Pulp Culture: Hardboiled Fiction and the Cold War (2014), and his keynote address is titled ‘From Paranoia to the Contrary: Exploring the Noir World of James Ellroy’.

Panels at the conference may include, but are not restricted to:

  • Historical Crime Fiction: Ellroy’s manipulation of history, comparisons to other authors such as Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal
  • True Crime: the writer’s place in solving crimes; Ellroy’s relationship with police and true crime writers
  • Mapping Los Angeles: The history and geography of Ellroy’s LA
  • Pulp and Porn: The voyeurism of tabloids and film in Ellroy’s work
  • Film Noir: Ellroy’s adaptation of film and film’s adaptation of Ellroy
  • Femme fatales: Exploring the genre’s gender lines
  • Ellroy and after: Ellroy’s influence on a younger generation of crime writers

Please send proposals of 400 words to Dr Steven Powell ( and Dr Diana Powell ( by 30 April 2015. The abstract should include a title, name and affiliation of the speaker, and a contact email address. Postgraduate students and independent scholars are welcome. Papers will be a maximum of 20 minutes in length. Proposals for suggested panels are also welcome. We plan to publish a selection of papers after the conference.

Conference Webpage:

Woody Haut is an acknowledged master of American noir. He’s the author of three non-fiction classics- Pulp Culture: Hardboiled Fiction and the Cold War, Neon Noir: Contemporary American Crime Fiction, and Heartbreak & Vine: The Fate of Hardboiled Writers in Hollywood– as well as one novel, the recently published Cry For a Nickel, Die For a Dime.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 7, 2015 8:22 am

    This sounds great! You’ve chosen some really interesting topics.

    • February 7, 2015 11:40 am

      Hope you consider coming Rachel. We’ve received a very positive response so far.

  2. Rachel permalink
    February 9, 2015 8:36 pm

    Thanks, I’d certainly like to. I’ll check it out.

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