ENGL252-20S1 (C) Semester One 2020

Crime Stories

15 points

Details:
Start Date: Monday, 17 February 2020
End Date: Sunday, 21 June 2020
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 28 February 2020
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 29 May 2020

Description

The course addresses the usefulness and range of the crime genre as an appropriate focus for the acquisition of the skills (in research, critical analysis, and written expression) peculiar to English studies, as well as a form of social and political critique. It will particularly concentrate on the last two centuries of the representations of crime, detection, confession, and punishments, assaying major trends and preoccupations present in a range of texts and theories. Within a general contextual examination of engagements between these facets, the development of genre forms and concerns will be considered, especially because the genre often speculates the fears and desires of its time in ways that likewise shape wider perceptions of crime and punishment. Students will be expected to read a range of key material, including a small selection of novels, some short fiction, theoretical writings and visual texts that should represent differences and similarities in representation and subject choice that writers and directors negotiate.

The course will proceed through an examination of postulations of crime and punishment, and of crimes that go “unpunished”, starting with the focus on these subjects within modernity represented in literature of the Nineteenth Century onwards.  We will look at early crime writers such as Poe and Conan Doyle, and later Golden Age detective fiction by writers like Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh; we’ll also look at “noir” and “hard-boiled” detective fiction stories, including film adaptation, considering possible “celebrations” of crime, the rise of detective fiction and new subjects of “crime” (including “Eco-Crime Fiction” [Jane Taylor]) alongside the cultural and social concerns of the time (changing social anxieties about criminality and institutions of policing, justice and penal reform).  Further coverage in the course will include focus on the place of recent “confessional” writing: looking at the modern psychological confession novel (Patricia Highsmith), “true crime” confessional (Truman Capote and others), and a selection of prison notes describing the experience of writers imprisoned for political dissent, (including Aleksander Solzhenitsyn). A significant further focus will be on the popular representation of crime in other media, including  TV crime shows, “Reality TV” crime shows, and crime documentaries.

This course can be used towards an English major or minor. BA students who major in English would normally take at least two 100-level 15 point ENGL courses (which must include at least one of the following: ENGL117, ENGL102 or ENGL103), at least three 200-level 15 point ENGL courses, and at least two 300-level 30 point ENGL courses. Please see the BA regulations  or a student advisor for more information.

Learning Outcomes

  • In this course you will learn:
  • skills in textual and contextual reading and writing and to apply critical reasoning to literary engagements with crime and punishment;
  • to read a selection of different literary genres from different historical periods, and be able to recognise choices of style and preoccupation of writers;
  • awareness of the impact of the particular historical and cultural context on the form and function of various modes of cultural production; and
  • about the role of detection and punitive regimes, and the assumed benefits and dangers of these regimes to society as represented in literature.
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.

Pre-requisites

Any 15 points at 100 level from CULT or
ENGL, or
any 60 points at 100 level from the Schedule V of the BA.

Restrictions

Timetable 2020

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 14:00 - 16:00 - (23/3, 20/4)
Online Delivery (4/5-25/5)
A3 Lecture Theatre (17/2-16/3)
17 Feb - 29 Mar
20 Apr - 26 Apr
4 May - 31 May
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 16:00 - 17:00 - (23/4-28/5)
Jack Erskine 111 (27/2-19/3)
24 Feb - 22 Mar
20 Apr - 31 May
02 Thursday 10:00 - 11:00 - (23/4-28/5)
Jack Erskine 101 (27/2-19/3)
24 Feb - 22 Mar
20 Apr - 31 May

Course Coordinator

Daniel Bedggood

Lecturers

Annie Potts , Henrietta Mondry and Paul Millar

Assessment

Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Essay One 30% 1,500-2,000 words
Essay Two 30% 1,500-2,000 words
Take-home test 40%

Textbooks / Resources

Set Texts:
• Truman Capote, 'In Cold Blood';
• Ann Turner, 'Out of the Ice';
• Patricia Highsmith, 'The Talented Mr Ripley';
• Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, 'One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.

Prepared course readings will also be available via Learn.

(Image: "He seized Holmes by the throat" by Sidney Paget, 1893.)

Course links

Library portal

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $777.00

International fee $3,375.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

Minimum enrolments

This course will not be offered if fewer than 25 people apply to enrol.

For further information see Humanities and Creative Arts.

All ENGL252 Occurrences

  • ENGL252-20S1 (C) Semester One 2020