English R1B

Reading & Composition: Victorian Mysteries

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
6 Spring 2008 Karen Leibowitz
MWF 12-1 225 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes ; Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone ; G. K. Chesterton, The Complete Father Brown, vol 1 ; Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ; Henry James, �The Turn of the Screw�


"In this class, we will read mystery stories written during the Victorian era, and we will approach Victorian culture as a mystery to be explored through students� own research into the laws and culture of this period (1837-1901). We will develop a sense of the taboos and pressures that motivate the crimes depicted in Victorian mysteries, while we uncover the origins and distinctive features of the mystery genre. Among other topics, we will discuss the invention and revision of the detective figure, the racial politics of Victorian mysteries, psychological variants on the classic mystery structure, and the role of mystery in all narrative fiction.

This course is designed to develop reading, writing, and research skills, and students are expected to participate actively in class discussion. Each student will write a short essay of 2 pages and then two longer essays (5 and 10 pages), each of which will be revised. We�ll treat writing as a process�working from thesis-formation, to defining research terms, to information gathering, to outlines, and through multiple drafts. Students will respond to each others� work in both written and oral comments. This course satisfies the second half of the R & C requirement. "

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