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Sisters in Crime Announces Winners of Their 2019 Academic Research Grants

Monday, July 8, 2019  
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The Annual Grant Supports Scholars Who Are Studying Gender and Diversity in Crime Fiction

July 8, 2019 – Sisters in Crime (SinC) announced today that the 2019 winners of their annual Academic Research Grants are Ann McClellan from Thornton, New Hampshire; team Kat Albrecht & Kaitlyn Filip from Evanston, Illinois; Margot Douaihy from Northampton, Massachusetts; and Nicole Kenley from Waco, Texas.

Each year, the non-profit organization awards researchers grants of up to $500 for the purchase of books to support research projects that contribute to our understanding of the role of women or underrepresented groups in the crime fiction genre. This year, four projects were chosen.

““It’s wonderful to see so many serious scholars delving into the contributions women have made to the genre,” said Barbara Fister, program coordinator. “Their analysis will enhance our understanding of gender and diversity as aspects of the mystery.”

The four winning projects are:

“Watson was a Woman—and Black: Claire O’Dell’s Janet Watson Chronicles” by Ann McClellan. Author Claire O’Dell’s futuristic Janet Watson series reimagines Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson as African-American and lesbian. McClellan’s study will focus on how changing both the gender and race of the iconic characters will affect readers’ perceptions of the duo and how such adaptations can potentially change our understanding of the history of a famous literary icon.

McClellan is a Professor of English at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire who holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Cincinnati. She is from Clarkston, Michigan.

“The Murder Mystery and the Modern Woman” by Kat Albrecht & Kaitlyn Filip
, focusing on cozy mysteries and their readership. Albrecht and Filip will explore the internal consistency of cozy mystery themes, the relatability of cozy mysteries to the average reader, and the extent to which a cozy mystery cultivates a world beyond the book with practical life tips/recipes or spinoff practical books.

Albrecht is a computational social scientist and a J.D./Ph.D. candidate at Northwestern University. Filip is currently working on a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Public Culture as well as a J.D. from Northwestern, where she has taught courses in public speaking and communication studies. They are from Jackson, Michigan and Glenview, Illinois.

“Lesbian Hardboiled Detective Fiction Studies” by Margot Douaihy, which explores lesbian and queer variations on the amateur sleuth narrative. This project also examines the social identities and political relations at play in feminist and queer sleuth novels. Douaihy will track the development of queer detective fiction as it pertains to the poetics of craft, including point of view, temporal architecture, narrative context, intertextual awareness, and structure.

Douaihy is a Lecturer at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire and widely-published poet who is a Ph.D. candidate in Creative Writing with a concentration in Fiction from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. She received her undergraduate degree at the University of Pittsburgh.

“Detecting Globalization” by Nicole Kenley
, which focuses on the relationship between
contemporary detective fiction, globalization, and global crime. The study will include American and international authors in order to examine the extent to which the genre can mediate the challenges posed by global crime.

Kenley is a Lecturer in English at Baylor University in Waco and holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Davis. She is also an alumna of Poway High School in Poway, California.

Last year’s Academic Research Grant recipient was Mary Anna Evans, an award-winning author and Assistant Professor of Professional Writing at the University of Oklahoma, for her study centering on selected works by Agatha Christie, exploring underlying patterns in her portrayal of justice, with a particular focus on her experiences during the years when women were gaining full access to the British legal system as jurors, prosecutors, and judges. Her 2018 Academic Research Grant Report is available HERE.

Sisters in Crime (SinC) was founded in 1986 to promote the ongoing advancement, recognition and professional development of women crime writers. Today, the organization boasts more than 3,600 members and 51 chapters worldwide and its initiatives also include other scholarships; cash awards to libraries and bookstores; and surveys and monitoring projects which determine visibility and representation of women and diverse voices in the genre and across the marketplace.


Kellye Garrett
Sisters in Crime Publicity Liaison

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