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Transnational Detective Fiction

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Course DatesMeeting TimesStatusInstructor(s)CRNRegistration
June 24, 2019 - July 12, 20196/24 - 7/12M-F 8:30A-11:20AOpenRebecca Karni
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Course Description

The course considers the increasing number of global Anglophone, transnational, minority, ethnic, and postcolonial writers who adapt detective and crime fiction conventions for the purposes of social critique, often transcending presumed boundaries between popular and high culture. Students are first introduced to, or revisit, the traditional narrative elements of detective and crime fiction, then examine more recent iterations of the genre. In focusing on issues related to identity, “culture,” ethics, human rights, social justice, and knowledge construction narrated by the selected texts, the course examines carefully, for example, the figure of the spy or detective as outsider to and observer of society as well as, in the works at issue here, frequently an immigrant or cultural or social “other.”

In focusing on issues related to identity, “culture,” ethics, human rights, social justice, and knowledge construction narrated by the selected texts, the course examines carefully, for example, the figure of the spy or detective as outsider to and observer of society as well as, in the works at issue here, frequently an immigrant or cultural or social “other.” Primary texts include woks by by Edgar Allan Poe, Kazuo Ishiguro, Michael Ondaatje, Amitav Ghosh, Suki Kim, Karen Tei Yamashita, Gabriel García Márquez, and Patrick Chamoiseau, among others.

Students develop their sensitivity to different notions of truth, guilt, and crime as well as the uses of narratological concepts such as voice, focalization, time, and order by close reading certain literary passages through reading of primary and relevant scholarly texts, whole class and small group discussions, think-share-pair activities, and a presentation, among others. In so doing, they also consider the texts' diverse expressions of complex local, global, and transnational affinities and affiliations as well as the ways in which a particular work can be seen as "global" or "transnational." Moreover, they hone their critical reading, thinking, and writing skills through pre-writing exercises, peer reviews, response papers, and essays. The course thus prepares students' critical thinking, reading, and writing skills for the college level and can serve as basis for further literary or humanistic study.

- Students continue developing critical reading, thinking, and writing skills;
- Develop research skills;
- Further develop their understanding of storytelling and narrative;
- Identify and recognize thematic and formal textual elements pertinent to the time period, genre, and group of works studied;
- Master literary terminology;
- Integrate additional theoretical approaches to studying (literary) texts with emphasis on close reading of primary texts;
- Write analytical, argumentative essays;
- Deliver formal oral presentations;
- Develop sensitivity to global questions and the ways in which literary texts express complex local, global, and transnational affinities and affiliations.

Prerequisites: Best suited for high-school seniors.

				

Course Information

  • Course Code: CEEL0932
  • Length: 3 weeks

Program Information

Summer@Brown

Brown’s Pre-College Program in the liberal arts and sciences, offering over 200 non-credit courses, one- to four-weeks long, taught on Brown’s campus. For students completing grades 9-12 by June 2019.

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