Watching the Watchmen: The Role of Detective Narratives in a Carceral Culture (MSON) (Literature Elective; US)

Fall; Grades 12
Prerequisite: None
Taught by: Manlius Pebble Hill School

Writing about the hard-boiled detective novel he helped to invent, Raymond Chandler wrote, “down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean...” This course investigates the cynicism and grittiness of detectives in relation to national incarceration rates. Is this relationship coincidental, or does our national fixation with hero detectives, warrior cops, and batmen suggest something more complex at work? Students in this class will examine portrayals of crime and crime fighting in fiction and film as a way of interrogating our national culture’s understanding of itself in relation to crime and policing.

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