Why do we want to know who dunnit? And how do we know that our deductions are correct? In this first year writing course we will examine detective fiction, using the figure of the detective and his or her investigation as a model for the college writer. The genre of detective fiction has spread to almost every narrative medium and fictional detectives exist on television, film, radio, comic books and graphic novels in all corners of the world. Drawing on various examples from the United States, Argentina, Brazil, England, Korea, Spain and other countries, we will first study the art of producing a credible narrative of events based on deduction, in order to become comfortable writing such narratives ourselves. We will also develop a critical awareness that the 'truth' deduced by detectives is a narrative written by someone and for some reason, and we will consider some non-detective fiction as well as historical and legal texts in order to analyze how their ‘truths’ are also structured as narratives of deduction. In this way we will become comfortable writing essays that are both logically coherent and critical, the two demands of college writing.
Authors and artists in the course include Edgar Alan Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Luisa Valenzuela, Isaac Asimov, Charlaine Harris, Christopher Nolan, Chan-wook Park, Jorge Luis Borges and others.