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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : European Languages and Cultures - French

Undergraduate Course: Contemporary French Crime Fiction (ELCF10036)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis option will look at the evolution of crime writing in France, from George Simenon to writers such as Maud tabachnik. It will examine crime writing as a literary genre, its history and its social relevance.
Course description Through close analysis of a selection of texts, the course aims to encourage students to engage knowledgeably and critically with texts and ideas relating to literature, history of ideas and cultural issues. Topics to be studied include the following: social context, intertexuality, narrative voice and subjectivity, the acquisition of knowledge and the search for identity, linguistic and cultural signifiers, perception and narration, class and gender, justice and the law, reflexivity and narrative play; satire and pastiche; ambiguity and polyvalence.

Classes will focus on individual texts but include comparative elements. Students will be expected to do independent research on various topics, which will then be presented in class, to lead discussions and to submit a full-length essay at the end of the option.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: French 2 Literature and Culture (ELCF08012) AND French 2 Language (ELCF08013)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Entry to Honours in French
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  18
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework 100%:
1 x 2000 essay (80%)
1 x in-class presentation (10%)
1 x class participation (10%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. To demonstrate an advanced knowledge of a range of genre-specific texts from the mid to late twentieth century in their socio-historical and cultural contexts as well as a good understanding of the theoretical and conceptual frameworks needed to analyse them
  2. To select and apply relevant theoretical and methodological approaches in their critical evaluation these texts and to demonstrate mastery of relevant technical terminology and research methods
  3. To assess and synthesise primary and secondary sources and to engage critically with these sources, showing awareness of nuance and accommodating ambiguities
  4. To construct coherent arguments which engage effectively with the sources and the relevant contexts and to present them with a high level of clarity in both oral and written form
  5. To demonstrate autonomy and initiative in their activities, carry out independent research under the guidance of the tutor, and to show awareness of their own and others¿ roles and responsibilities as part of a team
Reading List
George Simenon, L'Affaire Saint-Fiacre (1932) - Le Livre de poche
Boileau-Narcejac, Celle qui n'était plus (1952) - Folio Policier/Les Diaboliques (film adaptation by Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1955)
Sébastien Japrisot, Piège pour Cendrillon (1965) - Folio Policier/Un Eté Meurtrier (film by Jean Becker)
Daniel Pennac, La Fée carabine (1987) - Folio
Didier Daeninckx, Meurtres pour mémoire (1984) - Folio Policier
Jean-Patrick Manchette, le petit Bleu de la côte ouest (1976) - Folio Policier
Maud Tabachnik, Un Eté pourri (1994) - Viviane Hamy
Dominique Manotti, Sombre Sentier (1995) - Points

Frank Evrard, Lire le roman policier (Dunod, 1996)
Yves Reuter, Le Roman policier (Nathan, 1997)
Boileau-Narcejac, Le Roman policier (Quadrige/PUF, 1975)
Robert Deleuse, Le Polar français (ADPF, 1995)
Dubois Jacques, Le Roman policier ou la modernité
Knight Steven, Form and Ideology in Crime Fiction (Palgrave, 1980)
Gorrara Claire, The Roman Noir in Post-War French Culture
Kracauer S., Le Roman policier (Payot, 2001)
Lits Marc, Le Roman policier: introduction à la théorie (Editions du Céfal, 1999)
O'Beirne and Mullen eds., Crime scenes : detective narratives in European culture since 1945 (Rodopi, 2000)
J.-P. Schweighaueser, Le Roman noir français (PUF, 1984)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills By the end of the course, students will have further developed their skills in the areas of research and enquiry, personal and intellectual autonomy, communication, and personal effectiveness. For further specification of these skills see the university¿s graduate and employability skills framework at
KeywordsDELC Crime Fict
Course organiserDr Veronique Desnain
Tel: (0131 6)50 3054
Course secretaryMs June Cahongo
Tel: (0131 6)50 3620
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