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Mysteries of Oahu: Local Detective Fiction in the Composition Classroom

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dc.contributor.authorOrr, Stanley-
dc.identifier.citationOrr, S. D. (2009). Mysteries of Oahu: Local Detective Fiction in the Composition Classroom. In Murder 101 (pp. 145-156). Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., .en_US
dc.description.abstractThe question of appropriate subject matter has always vexed composition instruction. Even as many have argued for the transformative power of reading literary texts in the writing classroom, critics warn that such material may dominate the course and impair the focus on basic skills. Still others champion mass and popular culture as the best way to engage student writers; as Marjorie Smelstor and Carol Weiher have it, “There is no shortage of discussion or complaints that T don’t know what to write about’ when popular culture is the vehicle for teaching composition” (42). Smelstor and Weiher suggest attention to popular genres such as the detective story, as do other commentators such as Veleda Boyd and Marilyn Robitaille. At least one instructor, Robert Georgalas, describes a composition course that revolves entirely “around authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Dashiell Hammett and others.” In teaching several sections of the “Writing Skills” course at the University of Hawa’i, West Oahu, I find that a tandem emphasis upon mystery and local setting successfully engages composition students in a variety of majors. Heeding the caveat that literary and/or mass cultural subject matter may “take over the course” (Tate 305), I seek to provide a learning experience directed to writing skills that traverse a range of academic disciplines.en_US
dc.format.extent12 pagesen_US
dc.publisherMcFarland & Companyen_US
dc.rightsFrom Murder 101: Essays on the Teaching of Detective Fiction © 2009 Edited by Edward J. Rielly by permission of McFarland & Company, Inc., Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640.
dc.subject.lcshCrime in literature -- Study and teaching (Higher)en_US
dc.subject.lcshDetective and mystery stories, American -- Historyen_US
dc.subject.lcshLaw and literature -- United States -- History -- Study and teaching (Higher)en_US
dc.titleMysteries of Oahu: Local Detective Fiction in the Composition Classroomen_US
dc.typeBook Chapteren_US
Appears in Collections:Orr, Stanley

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