SES410 - The Evolution of the Detective in Fiction and Film

Outline information
Schools offering this subject
Last revision date Sep 30, 2019 12:22:44 AM
Last review date Dec 2, 2019 12:15:14 AM

Subject Title
The Evolution of the Detective in Fiction and Film

Subject Description
The fictional world of detective stories has always been a world of captivating and intriguing story telling, beginning with E.A. Poe who penned the first western detective story "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" published in April 1841. Then Sir Arthur Conan Doyle  brought to life the intentionally renowned sleuth detective of deductive reasoning, Sherlock Holmes. He first appeared in 1887 in the title "A Study in Scarlet". From there, other authors introduced the majesty of the British Detective stories known as "The Drawing Room" where the crime perpetrated is almost too impossible to be committed with little trace of how or when the actual murder took place. Little evidence is also known as to the main protagonist of the crime. Readers are sent on a whirlwind of a mystery to discern, detect and assemble the information of who committed the murders, the main players involved in the act, and how it took place. The detective later evolved into a more mysterious and alluring character as in the world of Ian Fleming and his international man of mystery, James Bond (007). In this course, we will explore a collection of English Detective Stories from the middle to the latter part of the 19th century; then, we will turn to the 20th century. We will also examine famed Ian Fleming novels as well as their corresponding films. In connection, there will also be an examination of the 1960s television series "The Saint," allowing us to examine the evolution of the famed British detective into the world renowned British spy.

Credit Status
One general education elective credit in the Arts & Humanities category. This course is also designated as a literature course.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Analyze course material in their written assignments in an organized, well-structured manner using proper mechanics, grammar, spelling, and the essay form.
2. Demonstrate through their written assignments an understanding and grasp of the ideas and concepts central to the evolution of the detective.
3. Express through their written assignments and conceptualizations their knowledge of, and the meaning of, the arguments and theories presented in the course text, including an understanding of the development and influence of the drawing room crime fiction upon British and other readers.
4. Find, assess, integrate and document secondary sources through the completion of an independent research project.


Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Academic Integrity
Seneca upholds a learning community that values academic integrity, honesty, fairness, trust, respect, responsibility and courage. These values enhance Seneca's commitment to deliver high-quality education and teaching excellence, while supporting a positive learning environment. Ensure that you are aware of Seneca's Academic Integrity Policy which can be found at: Review section 2 of the policy for details regarding approaches to supporting integrity. Section 2.3 and Appendix B of the policy describe various sanctions that can be applied, if there is suspected academic misconduct (e.g., contract cheating, cheating, falsification, impersonation or plagiarism).

Please visit the Academic Integrity website to understand and learn more about how to prepare and submit work so that it supports academic integrity, and to avoid academic misconduct.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Accessibility Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.