Keynote speakers

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Val McDermid is one of the biggest names in crime writing.  Her novels have been translated into 30 languages, and have sold over 10 million copies worldwide.   Her books include three main series: Lindsay Gordon, Kate Brannigan, and, beginning in 1995, the Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series, the first entry in which, The Mermaids Singing, won the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger for Best Crime Novel of the Year.  The Hill/Jordan series was adapted for the successful television drama, Wire in the Blood. Her recent Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime (2014) has been nominated for an Edgar Award.

Website: http://www.valmcdermid.com/

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Yrsa Sigurdardóttir (b. 1963) is the internationally bestselling Icelandic crime author of the award-winning Thóra Gudmundsdóttir series and several stand-alone thrillers. Sigurdardóttir made her crime fiction debut in 2005 with Last Rituals, which has been translated into more than 30 languages. Universally hailed as one of the finest crime writers of our time, Yrsa Sigurdardóttir’s new series about Freyja & Huldar shows a master storyteller at the top of her game.

Website: http://www.verold.is/hofundar/yrsa-sigurdardottir/

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Bruce Robbins is the Old Dominion Foundation Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. He works mainly in the areas of nineteenth and twentieth-century fiction, literary and cultural theory, and postcolonial studies. He is the author of Upward Mobility and the Common Good: Toward a Literary History of the Welfare State (2007), Feeling Global: Internationalism in Distress (1999), Secular Vocations: Intellectuals, Professionalism, Culture (1993) and The Servant’s Hand: English Fiction from Below (1986). He has edited Intellectuals: Aesthetics, Politics, Academics (1990) and The Phantom Public Sphere (1993) and co-edited Cosmopolitics: Thinking and Feeling beyond the Nation (1998) and Immanuel Wallerstein and the Problem of the World: System, Scale, Culture (2011). His most recent book is Perpetual War: Cosmopolitanism from the Viewpoint of Violence (2012).

Website: http://english.columbia.edu/people/profile/404

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Mary Evans is LSE Centennial Professor at the Gender Institute, London School of Economics. The primary focus of her work is those narratives (be they fictional or otherwise) through which we construct our social identity. She is particularly interested in the part that gender and class play in these narratives and the ways in which narratives of ourselves are an essential part of what we define as the modern. She is particularly interested in crime fiction after 1970, and for writing that has become increasingly critical of neo-liberal values.  Recent co-edited works include The SAGE Handbook of Feminist Theory (2014), Gender: The Key Concepts (2013), and Translantic Conversations: Feminism as Travelling Theory (2011).  She is the author of The Imagination of Evil: Detective Fiction and the Modern World (2009), A Short History of Society: the Making of the Modern World (2009) and Love: An Unromantic Discussion (2003).

Website: http://www.lse.ac.uk/genderInstitute/whosWho/profiles/msEvans.aspx