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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Comparative Literature (CMLIT)

CMLIT 131 (GH;IL) Crime and Detection in World Literature (3) Issues of ethics, truth, justice, and social order as embodied in crime and detective literature, presented in comparative contexts.

CMLIT 131 Crime and Detection in World Literature (3)

This course studies the origins and development of crime and detective literature from an international and interdisciplinary perspective. Beginning with early Greek tragedies, the course traces literature's investment in issues of crime, violence, detection, forensics, and social justice through a variety of historical and cultural contexts; this may include the classical era, the early modern period, the Enlightenment, the industrial era, and the modern/ contemporary world. Some of the questions addressed may include reigning myths about law and order; the rise of urban societies and mass culture; the construction of the detective figure, the witness, the criminal, and the victim as models of subjectivity; issues of gender and sexual violence; and the nature of justice.

Students will learn about the history of the idea of crime and its relationship with literary form. They will develop ideas about the contribution of literary thinking to ideas of social justice, as well as a theory of genre and its development over time; they will recognize regional, cultural, and historical differences and forms of change that affect the intellectual development of literature and detection alike. They will practice and master these skills through class discussion, short papers, and/or quizzes and exams.

General Education: GH
Diversity: IL
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Summer 2010

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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