This course is one of several first term seminars offered to incoming students at Gustavus Adolphus College. Each of these courses is writing intensive and offers opportunities to develop speaking skills as well as practice critical thinking and the examination of values. It also serves as an introduction to the college and is a place to get academic advice – at least until students declare a major and get an advisor in their chosen program.
Each course has different content. This one is about international crime fiction. As a genre, crime fiction explores questions of social order and disorder in the form of popular entertainment. We will read novels set in Great Britain, Laos, Australia, Norway, Vietnam, and here in Minnesota so that we can explore both their geographical/cultural contexts and the questions they raise about difference, social justice, and morality. We also will consider how these books work as stories, and discover what features define the crime fiction genre.
My goals for the course are to
- Help you become a more critical reader
- Help you express yourself effectively both orally and in writing
- Help you get to know Gustavus and understand the nature of a liberal arts education
- Open a perspective on a variety of social and ethical issues in different countries through the medium of crime fiction
- Give you an in-depth look at a particular genre and how it works