Honors | African-American Detective Fiction (HON)
H203 | 28363 | John McCluskey
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
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
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
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)
creative paper (ungraded, one page)
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.