ENGL 144 Spring 2013 American Ethnic Detective Fictions and Variations (W)

Cross Listed as AMST144
The many variations of the detective novel--from the British "cozy" to The many variations of the detective novel--from the British "cozy" to American "hardboiled" thrillers--have long been staples of popular culture. While the intricate plot may play a large role in attracting readers, other formal elements of detective fiction have attracted many writers, some who would transgress the genre itself. In this class, we will read and discuss works by various American ethnic writers and their use of the forms and conventions of the mystery novel to ask: how do we understand the relationship between racial/ethnic identities, histories, experiences and the genres, conventions, and other elements of detective fictions? What is the relationship of form, genre, narrative to cultural politics and history? How do the different writers use conventions of detective fictions, and to what effects and purposes? To this end, we will be readings works that are recognizable "detective fictions" as well as works that complicate and push the boundaries of the genre, to the extent that they become nearly unrecognizable. This is not to suggest that these boundaries are strict or stable. As we will see, the question of what does or does not constitute "detective fiction" will become less central as we investigate multiple ways in which the novels/authors stretch, disrupt, and play with the forms and elements of detective fictions.
Class Format: discussion/seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: active in-class participation (including group led discussion facilitation), 4 response papers (3-4 pages each at least one of which will go through the process of revision), and a final paper
Additional Info: (6-8 pages, which will also go through the process of revision and in-class workshop) on a mystery novel or film of your choice .
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: first-year students who have not taken or placed out of a 100-level English course
Department Notes:
Material and Lab Fees:
Distribution Notes: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under ENGL; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under AMST
Divisional Attributes: Division I, Writing Intensive
Other Attributes: AMST Comp Studies in Race, Ethnicity, Diaspora, LATS Comparative Race + Ethnic Studies Electives
Enrollment Limit: 19
Expected Enrollment: 19
Class Number: 3589
ENGL144-01(S) SEM Amer Ethnic Detective Fiction (W) Division 1: Languages and the ArtsWriting Intensive Ji-Young Um
TF 1:10 PM-2:25 PM Schapiro Hall 141 3589
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