This course introduces students to the study of narrative through crime stories, and it will offer an overview of English-language crime and detective fiction over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Reading materials will include early detective stories by Edgar Allan Poe, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, and BBC’s television show, Sherlock, among other materials.
This course will also provide students with an advanced introduction to the writing of literary criticism and argumentative essays. Many critics have discussed the self-reflexive quality of crime fiction and the detective’s resemblance to the reader of texts, and we will use this reflexivity as a means to think about our own writing.
Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie (William Morrow Paperbacks, ISBN 9780062073495)
All other readings will be available on Moodle and/or in handouts.
This course will offer an overview of English-language crime fiction over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as well as an introduction to narrative theory through the self-reflexive quality of crime fiction. It will also provide an advanced introduction to literary analysis and argumentation to prepare students for more advanced course offerings in English Studies.
This course was originally scheduled to take place in-person on Fridays from 2:30-5:20 p.m.. To accommodate online learning and allow for more flexibility this semester, the course will instead follow this structure:
- Recorded MP3 Lecture on Tuesdays: Each week, a recorded mp3 lecture will be posted onto Moodle, with an accompanying powerpoint, on Tuesday by 12 p.m. Students should listen to the lecture before Friday’s tutorials.
- Live Tutorials on Fridays: We will have an interactive tutorial on Zoom (and eventually face-to-face, if permitted) on Fridays from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.. The tutorial will be run as a discussion seminar with students sharing their thoughts on that week’s assigned reading. If students are unable to participate in a live tutorial discussion on Zoom due to technological issues, they will have alternative modes of participating in class through discussion groups. Tutorials will not always take the full two hours.
Class Participation, Attendance, and Reading Quizzes – 10 percent
Mid-Term In-Class Essay (or Take-Home Essay, if courses have moved online) – 20 percent
Term Paper 1 (including outlines/rough drafts, although outlines/drafts are graded only for completion) – 30 percent
Term Paper 2 (including outlines/rough drafts, although outlines/drafts are graded only for completion) – 40 percent