Honors | African-American Detective Fiction (HON)
H203 | 28363 | John McCluskey


TuTh 11:15am-12:30pm
HU 111

HON-H 203 Traditions in the African American Novel
“ The Mystery/Detective Novel”

“That’s one of the reasons I started writing the detective stories.
I wanted to introduce the idea of violence.  After all, Americans
live by violence, and violence achieves—regardless of what any-one
says, regardless of the distaste of the white community—its own
ends.
Chester Himes, 1970


Week 1.  Introduction, Aims of the Course.
Readings: Green, Tubman, Douglass selections

Week 2. The Harlem Renaissance and Mystery Paradigms
Readings: Soitos and Schuyler Selections

Week 3.  The Conjure Man Dies, Rudolph Fisher
The Example of Sherlock Holmes (sample)

Week 4. “John Archer’s Nose”; The Maltese Falcon, Hammett in-class
essay)

Week 5. Conclude Hammett; Petry and Himes Selections

Week 6. Raymond Chandler essay; The Heat’s On, Himes

Week 7. Naturalism and the Macabre
Himes excerpt from All Shot Up; John A. Williams Selection; Film
Samples on Ethnic Detectives(short paper)

Week 8. Little Yellow Dog, Walter Moseley

Week 9.  Blanche on the Lam, BarbaraNeely

Week 10. When Death Comes Stealin, Valerie Wilson Wesley(short paper)

Week 11  The Devil’s Red Nickel, Robert Greer; Mike Phillips
Selection

Week 12. Inner City Blues Paula Woods(creative exercise due)

Week 13. Ellison and Klein chapters; Mumbo-Jumbo, Ishmael Reed

Week 14. conclude Reed; (critical term  paper due)

Week 15. Conclusions: New Models and New Statement?

Course Requirements: two in-class essays (30 minutes each)
two critical papers (3-5 page)
Term paper
creative paper (ungraded, one page)
class participation
Critical Term Paper Due, Friday, April 22. No late papers accepted.

Attendance Policy: You are expected to attend punctually and
participate consistently. More than three unexcused absences
will lower your class grade by half a grade.