Murder and True Crime in the Media


May 29, 2020 all-day
Dr Maria Mellins

TYPE OF CALL: Conference

LOCATION: Twickenham, UK



SUBMISSION DEADLINE: February 14, 2020



CONTACT PERSON: Dr Maria Mellins,


Proposals are invited for an interdisciplinary conference at St Mary’sUniversity, Twickenham, to explore Murder and True Crime in the Media.  The Confirmed Keynote Speaker is Dr Sarah Moore, author of Crime and the Media (2014, Palgrave Macmillan). Modern audiences demonstrate an appetite for true crime, and particularly stories that involve murder. Whilst public fascination for true crime is not new, the genre has long dominated our entertainment industries, from biopics, whodunnits, to gangster films; interest in true crime is certainly renewed.

Through the consideration of murder in the press, documentaries, films and novels, this conference will interrogate the different representations of true crime and how these can contribute to important debates in contemporary culture and society. For instance, can analysis into victims shed light on the way that social groups are constructed in the media, and whether there is a process of selection occurring? How can the study of murder cases provide further insight into coercive control? How might the representations of crimes vary, from knife crime, organised crime, to the glamorisation or even celebrification of some serial killers? What are the ethical considerations when producing murder content and how do platforms such as podcasts and YouTube, pose issues of regulation?


Papers are invited from a broad range of disciplines including Media, Film, Criminology, Sociology, Law. Some focal points include (but are not limited to)

·         The victims and/or survivors of murder

·         Serial killers and/or mass murderers in the media

·         Organised crime and human trafficking 

·         Murder in the news

·         Policing and the murder investigation

·         Domestic violence 

·         Coercive control

·         True Crime trials – the use of documentary and podcasts as an alternative ‘trial space’ to either exonerate the falsely accused or announce culprits (and negotiations in-between)

·         The platforms and technologies of true crime – Netflix, podcasts, YouTube, crime binge-watching (extending to issues of regulation)

·         The ethical considerations involved in murder themed productivity

·         Negotiating risk and fear in true crime 

·         Cultivation theory

Please submit a maximum 500-word abstract to the conference contact listed above. The conference will be held at the following address: St Mary’s University, Waldegrave Road, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham. TW1 4SX. For directions to St Mary’s and further information, please email the contact person listed above.