This module will appeal to students with an interest in crime fiction, who want to explore the genre and understand its appeal. As we read some of the detective genre’s classic texts and authors, and examine more recent crime texts up to and including the present day, the module engages with the genre of detective and crime fiction, and the developing field of crime fiction criticism.
This module investigates the development of crime fiction as a genre, from its beginnings in the nineteenth century, to the most contemporary postmodern and postcolonial engagements with the form. The module explores Golden Age crime fiction, American noir and hard-boiled crime, the rise of women and postcolonial crime writers, influences from Nordic Noir and true crime, the crime short story, the aesthetics of violence, crime in media and film, and more. Using crime fiction criticism and other critical frameworks, the module will give students an understanding of these narrative forms and their influences. Examples of authors studied on the module include: Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie Raymond Chandler, Ian Rankin, Janet Evanovich, Nordic Noir authors, Ken Bruen, Stuart Neville, Peter Temple.
A student passing this module should be able to:
- demonstrate an advanced understanding of crime fiction and its development as a genre, and reflect an engaged and perceptive understanding of different crime fiction subgenres.
- engage skillfully in close readings of a variety of crime fiction texts in relation to cultural specificity, race, sexuality, class and gender, and an understanding of a range of crime fiction criticism.
- competently identify and analyse a range of crime fictions and their subgenres, including film, evaluate these appropriately and critically, using concepts and theories through close reading, use appropriate critical vocabulary, and present sustained written and oral arguments cogently.
- plan and organise their own learning experience, and implement research, and use appropriate scholarly resources, including information technology