Universität Wien

180089 KU The Philosophy of Film Noir (2020W)

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 25 participants
Language: German


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Thursday 08.10. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Thursday 15.10. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Thursday 22.10. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Thursday 29.10. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Thursday 05.11. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Thursday 12.11. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Thursday 19.11. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Thursday 26.11. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Thursday 03.12. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Thursday 10.12. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Thursday 17.12. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Thursday 07.01. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Thursday 14.01. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Thursday 21.01. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Thursday 28.01. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

The protagonist of DETOUR (US 1945) says it all: “That’s life: Whichever way you turn, fate sticks out a foot to trip you.” Fatalism as an existential theme finds its expression in American film noir.

This course is an introduction to the film aesthetics of a subgenre named FILM NOIR. Based on six exemplary films we will explore the philosophical aspects of this style in crime cinema. Our central text this term will be Robert B. Pippin’s FATALISM IN FILM NOIR, it is thus fatalism and fate that will concern us most.

Assessment and permitted materials

Your online attendance is part of your final grade, you will be expected to hand in short written papers and participate in class discussions.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Erasmus students beware: This course is taught in German! You may write your assignments in English or French, but must be prepared to discuss matters in German, since most of your colleagues in the group will be German speakers.

70% of your final grade will be based on seven short written assignments, 30% are based on your participation in class discussions and your regular online attendance. I will expect you to follow my style-sheet for any written homework. It is possible to write a BA paper in connection with this course.

By registering for this course, you tacitly agree to having all your electronic submissions checked by Turnitin.

Examination topics

This is a course (= KUrs), thus no final exam.

Reading list

All texts will be supplied via Moodle. Our primary text for this course is available as an e-book via U:search:

Pippin, Robert B. (2012): Fatalism in American Film Noir. Some Cinematic Philosophy. Charlottesville/London: Univ. of Virginia Press.

Additional Literature we will be using:
Empfehlenswerte Zusatzlektüre:
Hales, Steven D. (2020): The Myth of Luck: Philosophy, Fate, and Fortune. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
Naremore, James (2008): More than Night. Film Noir in its Contexts. Berkeley et al.: Univ. of California Press.
Silver, Alain & Ursini, James (Hg.) (2006): FILM NOIR Reader. New York: Limelight.
Williams, Bernard (2008): Shame and Necessity. Berkeley et al.: Univ. of California Press.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Fr 12.05.2023 00:18