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


Writing and communicating about pandemics: 2020 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.

Semester 1, 2020 Seminars & Workshops


Friday, 13 March

Literature as Media: Chinese Online Literature—Storytellers, platforms and transmedia literary world

(Part of the Platform Media: Algorithms, Accountability and Media Design EVENTS)

Dr Tony Xiang Ren, Western Sydney University, with A/Prof Kim Wilkins, Dr Helen Marshall & Emily Baulch

Friday, 27 March



Dr Cedric Courtois

Friday, 10 April


TBC Dr Beck Wise

Friday, 24 April



Dr Skye Doherty

Friday, 8 May


TBC Dr Andrea Bubenik

Friday, 22 May


TBC Dr Chris Hay

Friday, 5 June

Online via Zoom

Research Seminar - Imagining the End of the World: Writing the Apocalypse before Covid-19 Dr Helen Marshall

Friday, 3 July

Online via Zoom:

Research Seminar - Developing Disciplinary Literacies in Hybrid Classes

Dr Beck Wise



Digital Learning Space, J Ackroyd Building #37