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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedNot offered in 2010
Coordinator(s)Pauline Nestor


The unit will investigate the development of crime fiction, through the examination of representative and influential texts from the 19th and 20th centuries. It will explore the ways in which contemporary life shapes popular cultural products, considering, for example, the relationship of crime writing to advances in science and technology, the growth of urban culture, the rise of psychoanalysis and the emergence of feminism. It will also examine the ways in which crime writing has provided a focus for the exploration of questions of class, race and gender. Authors studied include Fyodor Dostoevsky, Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy Sayers, Raymond Chandler, Patricia Cornwell and Dorothy Porter.


On successful completion of this unit students will have:

  1. Attained an awareness of the generic features of crime writing.

  1. Developed an understanding of the historical development of the genre.

  1. Acquired an appreciation of the ways in which popular cultural products like crime writing are shaped by their contemporary historical context.

  1. Gained ability and confidence in spoken debate and the articulation of complex ideas.

  1. Improved skills of critical analysis in relation both to literary texts and to critical/theoretical materials.


One essay (1,250 words): 25%
One exercise (750 words): 15%
One examination (2.5 hours): 50%
Tutorial performance including the presentation of a short paper introducing the week's topic: 10%

Contact hours

2 one-hour lectures and 1 one-hour tutorial per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study