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Curricular information is subject to change
1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the genre of crime fiction through close reading of a range of texts across differing historical and cultural contexts (British, American and Irish).
2. Engage with key critical and theoretical concepts relating to race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class and national identities and their representation in the literature of criminality and detection.
3. Apply such concepts and contexts to close analysis of the course texts, analysis that is alert to issues of narrative form, generic convention and ideological inflection.
4. Develop the ability to articulate opinions and argue positions within a seminar group of 24 students.
5. Produce a critical essay on a topic which addresses the key themes of the course, shows engagement with a range of critical sources pertinent to that topic, and works to develop a capacity for independent critical thinking.
Topics to be explored may include (subject to revision):
Introduction to Course Texts, Contexts and Themes.
Beginnings: The Art of Detection in The Murders in the Rue Morgue and The Purloined Letter (Edgar Allan Poe)
The Smear on the Door: ‘Detective-fever’ in The Moonstone (Wilkie Collins)
Excavating the Past: The Sign of Four (Arthur Conan Doyle)
Re-reading ‘The Golden Age’ of Detective Fiction: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Agatha Christie)
The ‘Private’ Eye: Farewell, My Lovely (Raymond Chandler)
Race and Genre 1: Devil in a Blue Dress (Walter Mosley): Rewriting Chandler
Race and Genre 2: The American South in Bluebird, Bluebird (Attica Locke).
Forensic Detail: Body of Evidence (Patricia Cornwell)
The Contemporary Past: Broken Harbour (Tana French)
|Student Effort Type||Hours|
|Seminar (or Webinar)||
|Specified Learning Activities||
|Autonomous Student Learning||
Not applicable to this module.
|Description||Timing||Component Scale||% of Final Grade|
|Continuous Assessment: Mid term assignment (20%) and class-based assignments (20%)||Throughout the Trimester||n/a||Graded||No||
|Assignment: 3,000 word final essay. A list of essay questions will be circulated and one must be chosen as the basis for the essay.||Varies over the Trimester||n/a||Graded||No||
|Resit In||Terminal Exam|
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
There will be two feedback sessions: one following the midterm assignment and one following the end-of-semester essay.