Rise of “Bright Noir”: Redemption and Moral Optimism in American  Contemporary TV-Noir ​

Presented by Prof Alberto Garcia (University of Navarra)

Date: 20 April, 2018
Time: 3pm-4pm
Location: Digital Learning Space (Room 224, Level 2), Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37) 


This talk will explore how some recent American TV crime dramas that can be specifically labelled as noir address the issue of hope and redemption by undermining one of the main thematic and ideological features that both spectators and critics tend to assign to noir narratives – i.e., the logic of hopelessness, of “no way out”, to paraphrase Porfirio’s classic article (1996). In what I have coined as “Bright Noir”, several recent, influential and popular TV noir series offer stories in which brave protagonists achieve a positive outcome and defeat evil while fulfilling a higher purpose or attaining an honourable end. To approach this idea, I will first recall that existentialism and moral alienation became essential features of film noir, which remains a controversial term. I will then explain the sociological and artistic reasons that have led to this wave of morally hopeful noir. Finally, this thesis will be demonstrated with in-depth analysis of key series from recent American TV crime fiction, with particular attention given to Justified (FX, 2010–15) and Fargo (FX, 2013-).



Prof Alberto Garcia


About Research Seminar and Workshop Series


School of Communication and Arts Research Seminar Series

The research seminar and workshop series occur each semester, each with a different topic and guest speaker from UQ or otherwise.

Friday, 11 March

Online via Zoom

Research Seminar - Tuning In with the Stethoscope in the Nineteenth CenturyDr Melissa Dickson (University of Birmingham)

Friday, 25 March


Early Adventures in Australian Actor Training

Dr Chris Hay

Friday, 8 April

Online via Zoom

Invention and reinvention in the landscape symbolism of Joachim PatinirMichael Levy

Friday, 29 April

Online via Zoom

Negotiating balance of cultures among Chinese Australians to facilitate ageing well

A/Prof Shuang Liu

Friday, 13 May


Redefining crisis in museums: insider’s perspectives on digital engagement

Dr Caroline Wilson-Barnao, Craig Middleton (National Museum of Australia), and Lisa Enright

Friday, 3 June

Hybrid: Online via Zoom and in person at the
SCA Writer's Studio
(Level 6, Michie)

A journey through the Australian environmental movement ecosystem

Dr Robyn Gulliver

Friday, 10 June

Online via Zoom

TBADr Alex Bevan



Digital Learning Space, J Ackroyd Building #37