Culture Through Crime

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Meeting Information
Location: FPH 107
Days: Tuesday, Thursday
Time: 2:00-3:20
Email: byngvesson@hampshire.edu
Extension: 5578
Office: FPH 208
Office Hours:
Home Page:
Technical Information
Course Level: 200
Course Number: 226
Course Capacity: 25
Course Website:


Culture Through Crime is a Social Science class taught by Barbara Yngvesson.

Course Description

This class will use the techniques of ethnography as a lens for examining fiction about crime and its detection, and stories about crime as a lens for examining the boundaries of a culturally-based moral order. Drawing on novels (Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; Jess Wallers' The Zero; Luiza Valenzuela's He Who Searches; Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), films, creative non-fiction (Haruki Murakami's Underground) and ethnography (Julie Taylor's Disappearing Acts; Kim Fortun's Advocacy After Bhopal) we will explore the relationship of narratives about crime to the depiction and interrogation of a political/moral order. We will also consider the ambiguous roles of the detective and the ethnographer, whose efforts to figure out 'what is going on' may unsettle the conventions of law and ethnography.

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