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This subject looks at a range of crime narratives across different media: short fiction, novels, ‘true crime’, memoir, film, and television. It will move chronologically from Poe to the present day, each crime narrative unfolding in radically different locations: an English village, the Tokyo underground, the Melbourne suburbs, and so on.
The subject is designed to introduce students to a number of different approaches to crimes of various kinds. It recognizes that crimes generate narratives. But crimes also generate frameworks of comprehension: philosophical, moral, ethical, criminal, psychoanalytical, familial, etc. The detective provides one of those frameworks, with a focus in particular on criminal profiling, character recognition, and moral agency. Crime narratives make us think about the limits of identity; they make us navigate our way across the extent of human action and reaction; and they always ask us to reflect on our proximity to the crime scene and the criminal act. Students will be asked to engage critically with these issues, negotiating the crime narratives covered in this subject and the frameworks of comprehension that have built around them.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, student should be able to:
- understand some of the key frameworks for comprehending crime narratives;
- understand histories of crime narratives; and
- appreciate the complexities involved in the representation of crime and responses to crime.
Last updated: 31 October 2023