609364 English Literature and Culture: British Crime Fiction

winter semester 2016/2017 | Last update: 27.06.2017 Place course on memo list
609364
English Literature and Culture: British Crime Fiction
SE 2
7,5
weekly
each semester
English

Students will engage in in-depth textual analyses and get a profound insight into crime fiction, its key features and changing genre conventions. They will be introduced to the historical and cultural contexts which contributed to the emergence of this genre. Students will also learn to discuss and apply key theories regarding gender, power, criminology, cognition, and reader response. As this seminar includes a workshop with colleagues from linguistics, they will furthermore learn to present their findings to an interdisciplinary audience and will be introduced to the field of literary linguistics.

With the rise of forensic science (e.g. the fingerprint, ballistics), new technologies in criminal profiling, and the creation of a unified Metropolitan police force in the 19th century, a new literary genre emerged: crime fiction. In this seminar, we will explore key features of this genre and its development from the 19th-century to the present day. Special emphasis will be put on the changing figures of the criminal and the detective as well as on the process of detection and the engagement of readers in deciphering the clues to solve the crime. We will explore narrative strategies used to evoke readers’ suspense, excitement, fear or anxiety, and their release, and take a closer look at the on-going fascination with detective figures, such as Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, and first and foremost Sherlock Holmes. 

Crime fiction and especially detective stories do not only serve as a laboratory for testing various methodologies of detection and cognitive reasoning: they also provide an arena for negotiating conflicts regarding class, race, gender, and national identity, and for exploring the relationship between surveillance and privacy, guilt and responsibility, and between the criminal, the detective, and the community. Discussing a wide range of texts by different authors, including but not limited to R.L. Stevenson, Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, and P.D. James, we will further explore these aspects and also take into account recent adaptations (e.g. the BBC-series Sherlock), which underline the enduring fascination with this genre. 

Please note: As part of this seminar, students are expected to participate in a one-day workshop, which will take place on Friday, 02 December. Participation in this workshop is mandatory!

Close-readings, research assignments, (group) discussions in class, course blog, interdisciplinary workshop, and short input papers

Regular and active participation in class, preparation of an expert session including a short presentation, active participation in the workshop on 02 December (full day), and a final paper.

Teacher Training Programme 2001: Positive completion of first part of studies (1. Studienabschnitt).

Please note: active participation in the workshop on Friday, 02 December, is mandatory!

04.10.2016
Group 0
Date Time Location
Tue 2016-10-04
10.15 - 11.45 40134 40134 Barrier-free
Tue 2016-10-11
10.15 - 11.45 40134 40134 Barrier-free
Tue 2016-10-18
10.15 - 11.45 40134 40134 Barrier-free
Tue 2016-10-25
10.15 - 11.45 40134 40134 Barrier-free
Tue 2016-11-08
10.15 - 11.45 40134 40134 Barrier-free
Tue 2016-11-15
10.15 - 11.45 40134 40134 Barrier-free
Tue 2016-11-22
10.15 - 11.45 40134 40134 Barrier-free
Tue 2016-11-29
10.15 - 11.45 40134 40134 Barrier-free
Tue 2016-12-06
10.15 - 11.45 40134 40134 Barrier-free
Tue 2016-12-13
10.15 - 11.45 40134 40134 Barrier-free
Tue 2017-01-10
10.15 - 11.45 40134 40134 Barrier-free
Tue 2017-01-17
10.15 - 11.45 40134 40134 Barrier-free
Tue 2017-01-24
10.15 - 11.45 40134 40134 Barrier-free
Tue 2017-01-31
10.15 - 11.45 40134 40134 Barrier-free