Detective Fiction

Course code ENGL3012Units 10Level 3000Faculty of Education and ArtsSchool of Humanities and Social Science

This course offers a critical survey of the genre of detective fiction from its origins in the early nineteenth century to the present day. Using examples from British, American and Australian literature it discusses the evolution of this genre, its predominant types and its main formal characteristics. The course will study detective fiction as an attempt to come to terms with crime as a challenge to the modern social order.

Not available in 2014

Previously offered in 2013, 2011
ObjectivesUpon successful completion of this course students will be able to demonstrate:
1) A detailed knowledge of the history of detective fiction, including different types of detective fiction and their various social and cultural contexts
2) An ability to analyse examples of detective fiction in view of their thematic and formal features.
3) An understanding of the concept of a literary genre and the idea of generic evolution.
4) An understanding of the split between "high" and "low" literature and its significance in modern culture.
ContentThe course will undertake a chronological study of the history of detective fiction. It will identify the main types of detective fiction and discuss major authors such as Poe, Conan Doyle, Christie, Hammett and Chandler; readings will also include key critical contributions to the study of detective fiction. Seminars will consist of lecture parts on relevant theoretical and historical contexts, and group discussions focusing on individual texts.
TransitionNot Applicable
Industrial Experience0
Assumed Knowledge20 units of 1000-level English
Modes of DeliveryInternal Mode
Teaching MethodsSeminar
Assessment Items
Essays / Written AssignmentsTwo or more written assignments, which might include minor or major essays, tutorial papers, book reviews, online quiz, blogs, essay proposals, bibliographies or other similar exercises, totalling 1000-4500 words.
Other: (please specify)Specific instructions about the weighting, timing and word limits of all assessment tasks will be found in the course outline available in the first two weeks of semester.
Contact HoursSeminar: for 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term