Course overview

In these lectures Stephen Wilkinson will introduce students to the history of the detective genre and discuss its relationship to the development of capitalism, urbanisation and consumerist commodity culture. Students will be encouraged to read detective fiction as a prism through which societies, their anxieties and underlying psycho-political natures can be understood. Using the examples from the UK, US and Cuba students will gain an insight into the ways in which popular literature gives shape and form to our lives.

Course description

In these lectures Stephen Wilkinson will introduce students to the history of the detective genre and discuss its relationship to the development of capitalism, urbanisation and consumerist commodity culture. Students will be encouraged to read detective fiction as a prism through which societies, their anxieties and underlying psycho-political natures can be understood. Using the examples from the UK, US and Cuba students will gain an insight into the ways in which popular literature gives shape and form to our lives. In the first lecture, Stephen will discuss the origins and characteristics of the detective novel and how it developed from the mid-late 19th Century through to the 20th Century. This will be followed by a discussion of the ways in which the detective fiction changed as western societies became more complex, violent and urbanised through the 20th Century. Particular attention will be paid to the use of detective fiction as a propaganda vehicle in Socialist societies. The course will end with an overview of the way in which the detective novel de

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