Why is detective fiction so popular? Why are good mysteries impossible to put down? How do their plots and characters work? In this course we’ll look at how crime stories are put together, check the nineteenth century roots of the detective novel, sample its mid-twentieth century renaissance, and look at the foundations of the current mystery boom. We will explore the rise of the "whodunit," the development of U.S. crime writing in parallel with the British tradition, and the "noir" vision of human nature and society that emerges from the crime tradition. Authors covered will include Edgar Allan Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, Walter Mosley, Mo Hayder (or Gillian Flynn as an alternate), and Sara Gran. We will compare these books to the films Chinatown, Pulp Fiction, and Ghostdog. Requirements: final exam and two papers, one of which can be a detective story.
Once this course is full/closed, you can sign up to the wait list at:
Students on the wait-list must still attend the first day of lecture/section to enroll in the course.