Tutor: Dr Jen Baker
Office Hours: In Term 1, my office hours are between 1-2pm on Wednesdays in H521. You can book a slot here.
: In Term 2, Monday 5-6pm in weeks 1,3,4,5. In week 2 it will be 2-3pm.
Seminars: Wednesday 10 – 12pm (G03 Millburn House)
Formative assessments in the form of your weekly reflective reading log.
1 X 6,000 word summative essay to be submitted week 6 of Term 2.
See the schedule below for the weekly reading guidance.
Primary Book List: Books that you need to acquire for the course, either by the library, or through purchase, here
Secondary Criticism The selected, recommended bibliography for each week can be found by typing in the module code on the library's reading list site
Gothic is marked by uncertainties about power, law, class, gender, sexuality and religion, linked as they are to wider apprehension regarding political and religious revolutions of the period. Such revolution was perceived as leading to a new progressive, secular and enlightenment society, and yet this change carried with it a shadowy underside that materialised in Gothic literature as the supernatural and visionary. Imaginative excess, mental trauma, spiritual transgression, grotesque bodies, and tortured forms of desire are both housed in, and the catalysts for, the emerging spectral landscapes of some familiar, and some less familiar, British Gothic novels, short stories, dramas, and some poetry of the nineteenth century in conjunction with other artistic and cultural forms. Yet, as students on this module will explore, as much as the Gothic is about fears and anxieties, it is also a multifaceted, hybrid form that is governed by aesthetic agendas and preoccupations.
**Note: Some of the shorter texts will be provided as print-outs, but many of these texts will need to be purchased (or will be available in the library) - where this is the case, I have provided to the link to the specified edition.
There will be required secondary reading each week. This will be updated before the start of term.
Summer Preparation - I strongly recommend acquainting yourself with more general introductions to various ideas about what "the Gothic" is (not just C19th, but as a genre, and theoretical mode), by looking at reading companions such as The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction, edited by Jerrold E. Hogle or Gothic: Critical Concepts in Literary and Cultural Studies, edited by Fred Botting and Dale Townshend. You may wish to read or purchase OUP's The Gothic: A Very Short Introduction by Nick Groom to refer to throughout the course.
Seminar Schedule 2018/19
(for which texts/editions you need to acquire see Book list above)
Week 1. What is Gothic?
A selection of primary cultural sources and secondary critical theories. Reading Guidance
Week 2. Gothic Play: Parody and Satire
Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (1803/1818) Reading Guidance
supplementary extract from Ann Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho
Week 3. The Anatomy of Terror
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818) Reading Guidance
Week 4. Adapting and Staging the Gothic
Edward Fitzball, “The Flying Dutchman, or, The Phantom Ship” (1826) [play provided in pack] Reading Guidance
Week 5. Penny Bloods and Urban Horror
Sweeney Todd, or; the String of Pearls: A Romance (1846-7) Reading Guidance
Week 6. Telling Tales - “Female Gothic” [all except Eliot provided in pack, along with reading guidance]
A selection of tales by female writers.
Week 9: Imperial Invasion Gothic
H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds (1898) Reading Guidance
Week 10: Beyond the Bounds: Modern Adaptations
Henry James, “The Turn of the Screw” (1898) [c. pp.80] Reading Guidance
John Harding, Florence and Giles (2010)
Learning Objectives and Outcomes:
1. Demonstrate a detailed and advanced knowledge about the historical contexts that gave rise to this particular literary and artistic genre;
2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of some of the key themes, topics, and debates that emerge in different kinds of gothic narratives produced in the long nineteenth century.
3. Engage in significant critical debates surrounding such issues as gender, political rights, the nature of the human, the relationship between mind and body, questions of scientific and ethical progress;
4. Demonstrate an advanced ability to analyse the literary, cultural, and artistic narratives of an earlier era to relate aesthetic concerns and modes of expression to its historical context;
5. Demonstrate an advanced ability to understand and analyse relevant theoretical ideas, and to apply these ideas to literary and visual texts.
• Students will participate and sometimes lead seminar work and presentations, demonstrate advanced communication skills, and an ability to work both individually and in groups;
• Through essay-writing, demonstrate appropriate research and bibliographic skills, an advanced capacity to construct a coherent, substantiated argument, and a capacity to write clear and correct prose;
• Through research for seminars, essays, and presentations demonstrate advanced proficiency in information retrieval and analysis.