2017-18 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs

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ENGLĀ 345. American Noir. 3 Hours.

What used to be considered a sub-genre of detective or crime fiction, noir is more and more understood as a sub-genre of American modernism. Criminal and other "outsider" activity or behavior often drives the plot of noir fiction and film; however, this literature serves as the vehicle by which we can understand issues central to modern and contemporary (and literary) American life - issues such as class, race, gender, sexuality, sense of place, and/or belonging, moral codes, psychological well-being, achievement and success, and narrative style. Noir, then, develops and modifies popular literary and cultural formulas to address genuine social and aesthetic problems, and thus deserves the intense, focused analysis of this literature course.