Section 1: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 9:00-9:50 AM

Professor: Allison Layfield

This course is an intensive study of African American, Native American, Asian American and Latino/a noir literature.  If you’ve ever seen an old detective movie in which the gangster comes out of the shadows, a woman visits a private eye for help, or a criminal turns detective to clear his name, you are familiar with the genre of noir, which has become a quintessentially American art form. In this class we will explore the traditional themes of noir literature—social anxieties about identity, fate, gender, economic class, sexuality and race—as well as the multiethnic roots of this American tradition. Students interested in this course can expect to read “R-rated” novels and challenging theoretical essays, as well as literary criticism. Fiction may include the work of Chang Rae Lee, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Danzy Senna, Thulani Davis, Isabel Allende, Lucha Corpi, Tananarive Due, Louise Erdrich, or Sherman Alexie.