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EN930 Nineteenth-Century Gothic

Dr Jen Baker 

Office Hours:

In Term 1, 12-1pm on Wednesdays in G.03 You can book a slot here.
In Term 2, Monday 5-6pm
in weeks 1,3,4,5 in H521. You can book a slot here
--------------- In week 2 it will be Monday 2-3pm or Thursday 10-11am (which is also open to my other students). 
--------------- You can book a slot for week 2 here

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
(For MAEL students, CW students willl have deadlines determined by their own department).

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

tales of wonder


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
Phantasmagoria and adaptations powerpoint
Wagner's "The Flying Dutchman"

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. Diana Wallace Reading

Week 7. Dangerous Doubles
Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) Reading Guidance
Jekyll and Hyde dramatized (1887) [provided in pack]
supplementary reading

Week 8: Disease and Desire
Florence Marryat, The Blood of the Vampire (1897) Reading Guidance
Appendices B and C

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]
John Harding, Florence and Giles (2010)

You need to also read the adaptation theory articles distributed in class, and i strongly recommend reading these extracts from Linda Hutcheon's A Theory of Adaptation - if you can't manage it for class, then ensure to read for your assignment.


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.

Skills acquired
• 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.