Cosmopolitan Crime: Global Detective Fiction

Course Description

Detective fiction is one of the most popular genres in the world. It is also, interestingly, one of the most international genres as well. In this course, we’ll look at a selection of globally oriented detective stories, from the Sherlock Holmes to The Tunnel, and explore the ways in which detective fiction participates in the global imagination. How do these detective stories represent the tension between community and cultural difference? How do conceptions of cultural or racial “otherness” influence views of suspicion, guilt or innocence? How far does detective fiction fulfill a cosmopolitan ideal of transnational justice, and in what ways does it fall short? As we analyze the conventions of the detective genre and consider how it examines issues faced by our increasingly globalized community—including immigration, imperialism, identity politics, and terrorism—we’ll ask larger questions about the nature of community, morality, law, and justice across national and cultural boundaries.

Course Details

  • Grading Basis: Letter Grade or Credit/No Credit
  • Unit-Range Information: 3 units for students outside of major and for students who want to transfer units to their home institution; 5 units for students in major to count toward major program requirements.
  • Limited Enrollment Details: Flexible on enrollment cap, but the cap helps keep the course at a seminar level and provides a better ratio of students per instructor.
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