Detective novel course brings texts to life in Paris

How do you learn about French language and culture from a classroom in Pennsylvania?

For Associate Professor of French Florence Jurney, the answer is elementary.

Putting a new twist on the department’s annual senior seminar, Jurney’s French and Francophone Detective Novels guides students through page-turning mysteries and crime adventures, and then takes them to the streets of Paris to experience the sights and sounds of the novels first-hand.

Over the spring semester, Jurney’s students read 13 detective novels spanning from the 19th century to the present. In order to “show students that they could read any popular genre with a critical eye,” she structured her class discussions around the history of Francophone crime literature and urged her students to analyze the authors’ descriptions of period politics and figures.

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