Warning! This unit contains mature content and may not be suitable for some students. Any student under the age of 16 who would like to enrol in this unit must first complete a Parental Consent Form.

Subject details

  • Topics
    • Introduction: what is popular culture and how does it relate to the creation of of popular fiction?
    • Introduction to the popular fiction genres of crime and contemporary romance
    • Case studies 1: an analysis of two popular fiction texts and their relationship to historical tradition and contemporary popular culture
    • Crime module 1: hardboiled and noir. The development of the detective novel and the infleunce of film noir
    • Crime module 2: writing crime. Techniques, genre specifications, and audience expectations
    • Contemporary romance module 1: chick lit and lad fic. The development of the contemporary romance novel
    • Contemporary romance module 2: writing chick lit and lad fic. Techniques, genre specifications and audience expectations
    • Crime module 3: the rise of the anti-hero, the dick is the crim, the dick is a chick, the criminal as hero
    • Contemporary fiction: the role of the familial in contemporary popular fiction narratives
    • The popular fiction writer's boot camp: drafting, editing and refining popular fiction
    • Contemporary romance module 3: departures and subversion. Innovation in the chick lit and lad fic genre framework
    • Crime module 4: departures and innovations. The emergence of neo-noir and post-noir formats and the rise of the blended genre form rise of the blend
  • Study resources
    • Instructional Methods
      • Chat Rooms
      • Disscusion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
      • Standard Media
      • Web links
    • Online Materials
      • Printable format materials
      • Online Assessment
      • Resources and Links
      • FAQs

At the completion of this subject you will be able to:

  1. recognise and critically examine the relationship between popular culture and the production of popular fiction genres
  2. understand significant aspects of research, drafting and editing necessary for creative responses in popular fiction
  3. demonstrate understanding of the history and influence of literary traditions on popular fiction genres
  4. demonstrate rigourous standards of scholarship
  5. demonstrate strong ability in being creative and innovative
  6. identify and put theoretical knowledge of popular fiction genres into action in a range of modes.
  • Assignment 1 - Analysis Task (20%)
  • Assignment 2 - Online Discussion (20%)
  • Assignment 3 - Portfolio 1 (30%)
  • Assignment 4 - Portfolio 2 (30%)

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a subject

Entry Requirements

You are recommended to have completed the following subjects(s) or have equivalent knowledge before starting this unit:

Special requirements

No special requirements

Running with the idea that the distance between pleasure and pain is never too far in popular culture narratives, this subject examines two highly successful popular fiction genres: Crime Fiction and Chick Literature/Lad Fiction.

Students will be asked to examine historical and artistic developments in these two genres, consider popular culture theory and develop practical techniques in order to produce a folio of original creative and analytical work. The folio consists of two stories written in either genre utilising different perspectives and techniques, and a critical analysis of a popular culture product.

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