Western University true crime expert named Fulbright Chair at Vanderbilt University

With his new book available now, Western University’s Michael Arntfield has been named the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in crime and literature at Vanderbilt University for 2016.

Fulbright Visiting Research Chairs are an opportunity for exceptional Canadian scholars and/or experienced professionals to conduct research and lecture in leading American universities.

Vanderbilt University – recognized annually for its outstanding undergraduate teaching – is amongst the world’s top universities according to the QS World University Rankings.

Arntfield, a former police officer that now serves as a professor at Western’s Faculty of Arts & Humanities, has developed two unique courses for the Department of English & Writing Studies: Forensic Writing and Writing Crime Fiction.

These new courses have pushed Arntfield to the forefront of a new, exciting discipline in academia that he calls literary criminology, which he believes will do for crimefighting what narrative medicine did for health practitioners.

“It’s a huge honour to be named the Fulbright Scholar at Vanderbilt University for 2016 and a great opportunity to further explore literary criminology, an emerging discipline that I have been developing at Western for the past few years,” says Arntfield. “It’s literary criticism meets criminal investigation. We’re using the humanities and using narrative as an inroad to criminal evidence and procedure.”

For his coursework, which will be part of the Law & Literature Symposium at Vanderbilt University Law School, Arntfield is developing new materials and programming that includes critically analyzing Nathaniel Hawthorne’s gothic novel The House of the Seven Gables, the works of Edgar Allen Poe, the master of mystery and the macabre, and other American Gothic writers whose stories served as the progenitors to literary criminology.

His latest project, Murder City is an ‘instructional true crime’ book developed for a mass audience, as well as academics. The book has already been optioned by Sullivan Entertainment, the production company that developed international sensation Road to Avonlea, for a true crime television series in the vein of his previous television series, To Catch a Killer on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Renaud, Senior Media Relations Officer, 519-661-2111, ext. 85165, jrenaud9@uwo.ca, @jeffrenaud99

Western delivers an academic experience second to none. Since 1878, The Western Experience has combined academic excellence with life-long opportunities for intellectual, social and cultural growth in order to better serve our communities. Our research excellence expands knowledge and drives discovery with real-world application. Western attracts individuals with a broad worldview, seeking to study, influence and lead in the international community.