ENGL 693 (M2) - Special Topics in Literature

Special Topics/Crime Fiction

Manchester   Liberal Arts :: English
Credits: 4.0
Term: Spring 2024 - Full Term (01/23/2024 - 05/06/2024)
Grade Mode: Letter Grading
Class Size:   15  
CRN: 56146
A) Old English Literature, B) Medieval Literature, C) 16th Century, D) 17th Century, E) 18th Century, F) English Romantic Period, G) Victorian Period, H) 20th Century, I) Drama, J) Novel, K) Poetry, L) Nonfiction, M) American Literature, N) A Literary Problem, O) Literature of the Renaissance, R) Race and Racial Theories. The precise topics and methods of each section vary. Barring duplication of subject, course may be repeated for credit. For details, see course descriptions available in the English department. (Not offered every year.) Special fee on some topics.
Section Comments: Title: Crime Fiction: The Art of Killing
Registration Approval Required. Contact Instructor or Academic Department for permission then register through Webcat.
Repeat Rule: May be repeated up to 2 times.
Attributes: Writing Intensive Course
Instructors: Susanne Paterson

Times & Locations

Start Date End Date Days Time Location
1/23/2024 5/6/2024 W 9:10am - 12:00pm PANDRA P504
Additional Course Details: 

It takes a special kind of literary skill to turn killing into an art form. Such writers are known as detective novelists, mystery novelists, or simply crime fiction novelists. They use characterization, plotting, and literary and figurative language to create worlds of murder and mayhem. They draw us in and invite us to identify with the protagonist (who tries to solve the whodunit) or—more unsettlingly—with the perpetrator (who sometimes commits unspeakable acts). 

 We will begin the course by examining the origins of the crime fiction form, using Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes as our archetype. Moving our attention to the United States, we will study Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon to get a sense of what constitutes detective fiction, comparing it with other examples of the type written both in England and Sweden. England becomes the site of our examination of the mystery novel, where we will analyze "high" forms of the type, written by Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers, comparing the two authors' styles and approaches. The final component of the course scrutinizes the crime fiction form, looking at the French-based American author Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr Ripley and the recent work of English novelist Ruth Rendell. There will also be a mini-unit on true crime and comic books.