Texts For Purchase

A Study in Scarlet, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780199554775)
Course Reader (available for purchase at the library)


Learning Objectives

This course will offer an overview of English-language crime fiction over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as well as an introduction to narrative theory through the self-reflexive quality of crime fiction. It will also provide an advanced introduction to literary analysis and argumentation to prepare students for more advanced course offerings in English Studies.




This course is scheduled for Wednesdays and is organized in two parts: a lecture/seminar from 10:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. and a tutorial from 9:30 to 10:30. We will have the lecture/seminar every week, but tutorials will happen less frequently and will focus on academic writing. A specific schedule will be announced closer to the spring semester. Although each class session will include a lecture, much of the class will be run as a discussion seminar with students sharing their thoughts on that week’s assigned reading.



Offce Hours

I can be reached by email at jvaldez@hku.hk or by phone at 3917 2754. I will hold office hours on TBA in Room 837 of Run Run Shaw Tower, and I am also available by appointment.




Class Participation, Attendance, and Reading Quizzes – 10 percent
Mid-Term In-Class Essay – 15 percent
Term Paper 1 (including rough drafts) – 35 percent
Term Paper 2 (including rough drafts) – 40 percent

Class Participation and Attendance
Students are expected to come to class prepared to participate actively in seminar discussions. Please arrive on time and prepared for each class by completing all the readings and be ready to share any relevant comments or questions. Students are expected to bring the assigned texts to class, so that we can analyze and refer to specific passages during class meetings. Students are expected to attend all seminar sessions. If you have four unexcused absences, then you will receive a barely failing grade for participation. If you have five or more unexcused absences, you will receive a grade of zero for participation. Legitimate excuses for missing a class or a deadline include serious illness, serious injury, and family tragedy, and require documentation. If you are absent, it is your responsibility to find out what you missed.

In addition to attendance, I will be tracking students’ lateness to class. Arriving late more than once or twice over the semester will affect your participation grade. If you arrive more than ten minutes late more than twice in the semester, each additional incident will be counted as an unexcused absence.

Class participation will be calculated based upon the following scale (with the use of + and – to reflect variations):

A – Student actively and fruitfully participates in class discussions and contributes original, thoughtful ideas and comments in class. Student demonstrates a full grasp of the assigned reading materials.

B – Student regularly participates in class discussions and demonstrates that he or she has read the assigned readings.

C – Student participates in class but may not do so regularly or may provide comments that are not quite to the point of the discussion. Student has read the majority of the readings.

D – Student rarely participates in class and appears not to have done most of the readings.

F – Student does not participate in class discussions and/or does not attend class. Student has not done the readings.

Short Reading Quizzes
There will be several reading quizzes administered over the semester to confirm that students are completing the assigned reading. These quizzes are not designed to trick or challenge you. You will score well as long as you have completed the reading in an attentive manner.

Mid-Term In-Class Essay
The in-class essay will ask students to provide a close reading of a previously unassigned short text using the analytical skills they have developed.



Last updated: 19 July 2017