CULT 3020 Representing Crime

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 101005

Coordinator Sara Knox Opens in new window

Description This subject deals with the evolution of the figure of the detective and of the criminal; the development of an aesthetics of crime from the later 18th Century; the dynamic nature of fiction, film and television genres of detection. Literatures of sensation, detective fictions, true crime writing and the non-fiction novel will all be examined to allow an in-depth analysis of the changing ethical and psychological character of the detective, and of his nemeses. The crime story in film, television and in other new media may also be addressed to facilitate an analysis of changing cultural contexts for the crime story.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline Criminology

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject

Equivalent Subjects LGYC 1299 - Representing Crime


Successful completion of 60 credit points of study in currently enrolled program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of theories of crime fiction in the context of debates about violence, modernity and popular culture;
  2. Build analytical capacities in relation to concepts of genre, and the interdependence of different generic forms;
  3. Identify change and continuity in discourses around crime from the later 19th to the early 21st century;
  4. Analyse the relationship between textual forms of different media in the representation of crime and the figure of criminal and the detective.

Subject Content

Content may vary between semesters of offering dependent on the teaching staff expertise and interests. Content may draw from, or elaborate upon, the following pool of topics:

  • Contemporary crime fiction
  • The relationship between crime fiction and its readers.
  • Literatures of sensation
  • The Forensic Imagination
  • True crime: modern genres
  • The non-fiction crime novel
  • Crime narrative, visual and oral culture
  • The Spectacle of the criminal trial
  • Moral panic around dangerous classes of persons
  • The fame and infamy of the serial killer
  • Storytelling and Crime
  • Crime and Punishment in history
  • Invasion, dispossession and genocide
  • War crimes
  • School shootings
  • Violence against asylum seekers
  • Family violence
  • Performing violence


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Weekly Quiz 4 questions - 15 minutes 20 N Individual
Workshop Exercise One page 15 N Group
Media Performance 5 minutes 15 N Group
Written Assignment 1,500 words 50 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • A book of primary readings prepared by the subject coordinator.