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Dr Margot Douaihy

Former Research Student

Margot Douaihy

Research overview

Three elements of my creative writing PhD include the creation of my sleuth novel; a reflective thesis analysing my craft choices, rationale, and critical-into-creative methodology; and an examination of the lesbian detective fiction genre. My primary research questions:

  1. To what extent, and in what ways, can an established genre such as detective fiction be made anew? Can the foregrounding of queerness assist in the creative practice of innovating within genre frameworks?
  2. In what ways does a character’s sexuality inform their technical procedures and/or praxis as a crime solver in a detective/sleuth narrative? How could queerness shape the overall investigative sensibility of a sleuth novel?
  3. How fixed are the formulas and ‘rules’ with a genre project such as amateur sleuth fiction, and how much space is there for figurative language and prose styling within those rules? What craft techniques could help sustain tension and accelerate pace in a sleuth narrative without flattening characters or thinning atmosphere?
  4. How are detective/sleuth fiction features, such as masquerade, deception, and revelation, reclaimed and reinterpreted in the lesbian sleuth novel?
  5. Can a close engagement with landmark hardboiled crime-fiction texts inform the creative practice of writing gripping lesbian/queer sleuth fiction?  
  6. Can a sleuth’s social identities (sexual, class, faith) be used to write social comment as well as compelling psychological narrative?

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