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Special Collection

Watching the Transnational Detectives

Collection launched: 08 Sep 2022

A recent article in the Evening Standard posed the question ‘Is it a coincidence that just as governments are seeking to close their borders, television is opening them?’ (March 15 2017). Indeed, in post-Brexit Britain, television viewers have access to an ever increasing number of foreign language programmes. Thanks to this boom, ‘a single TV drama can cross borders like never before. Yet still, telling local stories appears to be the secret to international appeal’ (Evening Standard, March 15 2017). Taking a range of popular foreign language crime dramas as case studies, this collection of essays seeks to explore this relationship between the local, national, and transnational that is presented on screen through these shows. The authors examine some of the ways in which these dramas can influence viewers’ perceptions of the countries, nationalities and languages that are depicted on screen, and analyse the extent to which these programmes can become a mechanism for discovering more about the country, cultures and language that feature on screen. The essays ultimately highlight how national specificities are perceived by and translated for English-speaking audiences, and thus how the local, national, and international interact in the transnational context of the foreign language crime drama.

Guest editors: Dr Rachel Haworth (University of Leeds); Dr Angela Kimyongür (University of Hull).