Fall 2021 Undergraduate English Courses

358:253 Introduction to Crime Fiction


This course will introduce students to crime fiction from an international perspective. On one hand, we'll look at how crime fiction serves basic cultural needs, crystallizing certain patterns of experience and mapping stylized social situations. On the other hand, we will pay attention to the specific features of each example, tracing variations of the genre as it develops over time and migrates across borders. In particular, we will examine various examples of “noir” fiction, especially in serial forms. After a set of initial readings of American (and American exile) classics (D. Hammett, C. Himes, D. Hughes), we will sample work from more recent writers (including J.-P. Manchette, N. Kirino, and F. von Schirach). There will be a steady amount of reading, along with two weekly writing assignments. There will also be a final essay assignment.

The course will be conducted in an asynchronous online format. We take advantage of the format to carry out written conversations about some important and entertaining texts.

This course fulfills the Core Curriculum requirement in "Arts and Literatures" [AHp].