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, 24 March

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

Fire Futures: codesigning for resilience

Dr Skye Doherty

Friday, 31 March

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

From Fatigue Studies to Burnout: A Brief History of Work Exhaustion

A/Prof Elizabeth Stephens



Digital Learning Space, J Ackroyd Building #37