Challenging the Detectives: Female Approaches to Crime Fiction in the Late Imperial Era

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPresentation


Early Russian crime fiction (1860-1917) was an overwhelmingly male domain: male authors depicting male judicial investigators and lawyers upholding the newly reformed Russian legal system. However, in the 1880s, two female authors entered the fray, Aleksandra Sokolova and Kapitolina Nazar’eva, and their writing challenged many of the genre’s established conventions. This paper will examine how Sokolova and Nazar’eva employ narrative devices such as focalisation and privilege to offer a more critical perspective on the performance of the male legal representative. It will also briefly consider the impact of generic hybridity in the two writers’ crime narratives. In so doing, it will contend that early Russian crime fiction authored by women was fertile ground on which to interrogate issues related to the ‘woman question’ and gender roles in society more broadly.
Period3 Dec 2023
Held atAssociation for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies, United States
Degree of RecognitionInternational