Searching for Clues

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This course is offered at Davidson College, and was offered at Wake Forest University, Term 2 2013

Teacher: Magen Stevens TA: Emily Mealor

In this class you read lots of mystery literature/detective fiction and then analyze it. You read works by Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, and Edgar Allen Poe. You talk about the characteristics of detective fiction and the typical detective and his partner. You watch episodes of House, Psych, and Dr. Who. You write one college level critical paper, which is really stressful at the time, but gets a lot better later. Some topics have included:

  • Why are detectives so weird?
  • Is Harley Quin keeping tabs on Mr. Sadderwaithe?
  • Did Agatha Christie's first marraige affect the Tommy and Tuppence mysteries?
  • Why you shouldn't underestimate Miss Marple
  • Does Sherlock Holmes solve mysteries for his own gain, and not for the good of the world?
  • Which partnership was more productive: Tommy/Tuppence or Holmes/Watson?

You also research and do a presentation on one of history's unsolved mysteries, such as:

  • The Bog Bodies
  • The Borden Murders
  • Amelia Earhart's Disappearance
  • The Marie Celeste
  • Otzi the Ice Man
  • The Bloop
  • The Salem Witch Trials
  • Jack the Ripper

This class may not be continued next year because Magen got a "Real Person Job" (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO) but it was an AMAZING class and everyone who got to take it should consider themselves lucky.

And remember: Everyone looks normal next to someone eating laundry detergent

A tip for the wise: Don't drop your sunglasses/ lanyard into the doesn't end well

Wake Forest:

Pretty much the same as the Davidson course. However, the books (stories?) read were: Sherlock Holmes, Father Brown, Selections from Poe's detective stories, Agatha Christie's Ms. Marple, The Curious Incident of the Dog at Nighttime (at least that's what I think it was called). You talk about what makes a good detective and a good mystery. You write two papers, and work on a detective story across the three weeks. Common sayings include:

  • Team_Kay
  • Sherlock_Holmie
  • Release the Orangutan!
  • Little rats
    1. Kylace (Our entire class shipped Kylace