Hardboiled Identities:

Detecting Race, Class, and Gender

in the Film Noir and Hardboiled Fiction

Prof. David M. Earle

Lit4013 and Lit5108

Summer Session B

T TH 6:00 — 9:20

BLDG 74/104

5/14: Detective and Hardboiled Fiction: Definitions and Aesthetics


Poe, “Purloined Letter” .pdf

“Murders in the Rue Morgue”.pdf

Doyle, “Man with the Twisted Lip” online text

G.K. Chesterton: “The Oracle of the Dog”.pdf

Harford Powell, Jr. “The High Jackers” .pdf

Paul Cain: “Red 71”

Critical Article: Aisenberg, “Myth Fairy Tale, and the Crime Novel” .pdf


5/16: Film Noir: Definitions and aesthetics;

Texts: Hemingway, “The Killers” 

Articles: “Towards a Definition of Film Noir” .pdf

’No Way Out’: Some Existential Motifs in Film Noir” .pdf

“The Noir Style in Hollywood,” Saada, in FNR4, 174-189

Film (to be watched in class): “The Killers.”



5/21: Black Mask, Slave Narrative online (Lewis Clarke), Poe’s “Murder in the Rue Morgue,” “Hop Frog,” “Tarr and Feather

Article: Sean McCann: “Constructing Race Williams,” American Quarterly, Volume 49, Number 4, December 1997, pp. 677-716 (Article)


5/23: Film: Panic in the Streets; Article: Foucault, “Panopticism.”


5/28: Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest; Article, Erin Smith, “How the Other Half Read,” Book History, Volume 3, 2000, pp. 204-230 (Article). Undergrad Paper One Due.

5/30: Film: D.O.A.; Article: Carter, “The War of the Sexes,” FNR4 87-94; for homework: The Glass Key (Avi).


6/4: Farewell My Lovely (homework: Lady in the Lake [recommended for thursday] and Blue Dahlia (avi. or  streaming video here )


6/6:Film: “Double Indemnity”; Article: Paris, “Murder can sometimes smell like honeysuckle,” FNR4, 108-117; Undergrad, Paper two due;


6/11: James M. Cain’s Serenade (.pdf)


6/13:Film: Sunset Boulevard

Grad bibliography Due


6/18: Watch “Kiss Me Deadly” online (or download avi here); read: I, the Jury; Robert Leslie Bellem. Article: Grost, “Kiss me Deadly: Composition and Meaning,” FNR4 108-117 [optional: watch “The Postman Always Rings Twice.”part 1 and Part TWO  (.avi download; right click, “save as…”) .


6/20: Film: Memento. Articles: “Through the Past Darkly: Noir Remakes of the 1980,” FNR4 307—319; “Kill Me Again: Movement Becomes Genre”; “Son of Noir”; Article: Hillis, “Film Noir and the American Dream,” The Velvet Light Trap, Number 55, Spring 2005, pp. 3-18 (Article)


6/25: Moseley, Devil in a Blue Dress; film: Angel Heart

Final Papers Due