Crime Fiction and Film

New Media Noir

Whether we read cyberspace as underworld haven or commercial paradise, we can't escape the insistent presence of crime online. From "true-crime" libraries and  magazines to crime fiction dossiers and film noir forumscrime , and criminals, must be (re)represented.

Given the on line obsession with crime, perhaps it comes as no surprise that theoretical approaches to cyberculture and to crime fiction and film have a number of concerns in common: unruly female bodies, questions of surveillance*, anxiety over boundaries, and an affinity for the urban, just to name a few. Just what does the proliferation of crime, and the theoretical overlap between noir culture and cyberculture, mean for those of us who study crime fiction and film?

*More information on the Eyes of Laura project and its connections to classic film noir, a 70s near noir thriller, and to film theory.

This class deals primarily with hard-boiled fiction, noir fiction, and film noir, which finds its origins in American hard-boiled fiction and  German Expressionist cinema.  If "reading" films is new for you, you might want to check out the film analysis resources linked to from this page. A basic introduction to narratological film analysis can be found here. You might also want to take a look at the general information on narratology. The links provided are also a great resource for anything from tracking down terms to researching your papers.  As feminist film theory has a long and storied relationship with film noir, you'll want to take a look at some of the basic resources for beginning to think about feminist film theory. If you've never encountered it before, you should at least familiarize yourself with Laura Mulvey's "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema", also available online.

The resources collected below may prove particularly useful for thinking crime fiction and film noir in context. Feel free to use them as a jumping off point--our ultimate goal is to develop new avenues of approach to these classic texts. 

Reading Crime Fiction and Film

Investigating Noir

Coupling Crime Fiction and Film

Pulping the Present

Locating Film Noir’s History

Noir Innovations

Fan Noir

Film Noir and Roman Noir

Images Journal Special Noir Issue

Noir Imagery

Noir Games

Noir Events

Segmenting the Noir Body

Noir Shots

Making it New

Ironically Noir

Noir Tourism

Noir in Context

The Hays Code

WWII Era Photography

The Post WWII Era

U.S. Cultural History

U.S. Foreign Policy

The 40s

The 50s

Cold War Timeline

PBS: American Experience

Technology Timeline

A Brief History of Television

Theorizing Representations of Crime


Robert Reiner on Mass Media Representations of Crime

Crime and Society Foundation's Resources Page

Emerging Recognition of a Connection?


A brief history of law and mental illness

Resources concerning sentencing policy

Investigating ethics

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