Teaching Contemporary US Crime Fiction Through the ‘War on Drugs’: A Postgraduate Case Study
In this essay, concerning my efforts to teach contemporary crime fiction at postgraduate level, I think about ways in which focusing on under-explored themes and case studies can help students ask new questions about the genre and challenge ossified assumptions about how it functions politically. Specifically, my essay focuses on the challenges of examining crime fiction through the lens of the ‘war on drugs’: how we can use the ‘real’ context of the drug wars, firstly, to ask far-reaching questions about the relationship between the true crime and crime fiction; secondly, to consider what crime fiction can say about this ‘real’ context; and thirdly, to examine the complex formal and political implications at stake in these interventions.
KeywordsWar on drugs Sovereignty True crime Legal-illegal Drug War Capitalism
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