HISP 350: Transatlantic Detective Fiction
This class focuses on hard boiled detective novels from Spain, Mexico, Argentina, and Cuba.The detective novels offer a location from which the discussion of key contemporary historical moments both in Spain, Latin America and the Caribbean can be especially fruitful. These novels are a privileged cultural product to study both high and low culture and the intersection of class, race, and sex. The Hispanic detective is often well educated, a gourmet and has no problem using violence when necessary. In general, these detectives are not right wing vigilantes; most of them have or had leftish political views. These novels and their protagonist, with their stylistic features kept in check by the constrictions of the genre, serve as a record of the quotidian culture of the city. Cities like Barcelona, Buenos Aires, La Habana, and México D.F. The content goals for this class move between acquiring knowledge about the cities, the detectives’ work, the people they work with, and to being able to recognize the conventions of the genre.