Comparative & World Lit

Summer 2007

General Education Info: GFR | GEP (for students starting Fall 2007)

CPLT 344  Literature and the Other Arts                           3 credits
Petty criminals, pimps, prostitutes, vagabonds, private detectives, and the deadly look of a femme fatale: this course will interrogate the underbelly of the American B-movie imagination, stealing a glance at the dark alleys and dirty laundry of the urban, industrial landscape. This course will focus on American crime melodramas of the 1940's, which came to be known as film noir, a name given by French critics at the time. We will read classics of the crime novel genre, watch the essential movies from the period, and supplement our studies with critical essays in order to question why lust, sin, crime, and greed were such widely represented topics in American popular culture. From the sensational to the sadistic, why did post-WWII America revel in the morally reprehensible? Why are disillusioned males and "dangerous" females at the core of these fictional plots? Sharpening our interpretive skills, we will examine the historical, psychological, social, political, and of course the sexual issues that are reflected in noir. We will watch classic films such as Double Indemnity (1944), Detour (1945), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Kiss Me Deadly (1955), Strangers on a Train (1951), Dark Passage (1947), The Big Sleep (1946), Touch of Evil (1958) and contemporary revampings of the genre, including Blade Runner (1982) and Blue Velvet (1986). Note: May be repeated once for credit with permission of the advisor. Also listed as ENGL 316 and MLL 344. Prerequisite: Completion of 200-level literature course with a grade of "C" or better. For more information contact askomra@umbc.edu.
          Grade Method: REG
[0069] 6060 Meets 05/29/2007 - 07/06/2007             SKOMRA, A
            TuTh.......1:00pm- 4:10pm (ACIV014)

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