My research combines creative writing practice and critical analysis to examine how Northern Irish crime fiction can be used to understand the intersection between gender and class. Female characters have not been afforded the same prominence or importance as male characters in crime fiction novels set in Northern Ireland and this research arises out of the need for greater visibility of women and gender awareness. Feminist intersectional theory can assist my exploration by bringing sectarianism and class into the debate, showing how they compound the notion of the ‘invisible woman’ while seeking to understand how these issues have been addressed in some of the more recent Northern Irish crime fiction. The work will move on to discuss feminine and masculine cultural constructs within crime fiction and explore whether a female protagonist in the crime genre brings female characteristics to a predominantly masculine tradition. This will lead to an exploration of how traditional male and female identities have been constructed in Northern Irish crime fiction and how these identities are bound up in patriarchal and militaristic outlooks.
My creative work, a crime fiction novel, will provide an exploration of class, privilege and toxic masculinity while also addressing the role of social media in rape cases, and how the victim can be demonized and blamed, forced into the public arena with profound repercussions.
Sharon Dempsey is a Belfast based crime writer. The first in her new crime series, who took Eden Mulligan? was published in 2021, by Avon Harper Collins.
Expertise related to UN SDGs
In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):
- PR English literature
- Crime Fiction
- Gender Class