I'm signed up to teach a 6-week summer course on detective fiction/film--restricted pretty narrowly to the whodunit genre, as I really don't want to get into police procedurals. Law & Order is not really my bag: everyone I know thrives on its predictability, but I don't need to watch our justice apparatus in action over and over again to feel warm and fuzzy, Sam Waterston aside. (Isn't he, really, the Jimmy Stewart of our time? But I digress.)
I've mostly fleshed out *what* I want to teach, a mostly chronological progression from tried and true genre classics into Highsmith, Hitchcock, and Auster. The class meets twice a week for 3 hours; the students will write some sort of response for each session, loosely structured around literature or film analysis exercises to get them warmed up for paper-writing. Theoretically, each class session is supposed to equal a week's worth of class during the regular semester, which is where I'm getting stymied. In principle, I'd have no problem spending a week or its equivalent on, say, a short-ish Chandler novel and its film adaptation. But add a couple of secondary essays, and fitting that into a 3-hour class session without inducing brain overload seems difficult.
As students or as faculty, how much is too much?