English R1B

Reading and Composition: Who's to Blame? Agency and Determinism in the 19th-Century Crime Novel

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
15 Spring 2019 Mittnacht, Veronica Vizuet
MW 5-6:30 89 Dwinelle

Book List

Braddon, Mary Elizabeth: Lady Audley's Secret; Collins, Wilkie: The Moonstone; Dickens, Charles: Oliver Twist; Sayers, Dorothy: Gaudy Night

Other Readings and Media

Short stories by Edgar Allan Poe and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Film: The Phantom of the Opera


The sentencing of criminals has long raised questions of responsibility and blame, nature and nurture, and these questions have only become more pressing in our contemporary political environment. This course will address questions of agency and determinism in the crime novels of the 19th century, using historical sources such as essays on sociology and biology to inform our readings of classic crime novels. Students will also learn to compose original papers using critical and historical sources to inform their arguments.

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