H1 11936 7/12-8/6 MTWTH 10:30 AM- 12:20 ROSE, K.
Introduction to Crime Fiction: Death and Detection in Nineteenth-Century Fiction
What is crime fiction and what literary traditions led to its formation? This course will introduce students to crime fiction from a multi-generic and historical perspective. We will examine famous works by the genre’s earliest progenitors—likely including Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, and Arthur Conan Doyle. Alongside these more canonical authors, we will dig into the criminal underbelly of nineteenth-century fiction to discover the genre’s roots in Newgate Novels, Penny Dreadfuls, “Tales of Terror,” Melodramas, and even popular “true crime” reports on historical murders and misdeeds. Throughout the semester we will seek to understand the formal and historical significance of crime fiction as it forms across the nineteenth century. How does the genre develop from its factual and fictional precursors? How does the genre work as a kind of social critique? There will be regular reading quizzes, short individual presentations, and class discussions.