9 x 2-hour tutorials per semester
9 x 1-hour on-line lectures per semester
1 9 units of first-year topics
2 Admission into BLITTCWG-Bachelor of Letters (Creative Writing) (Graduate Entry)
Must Satisfy: ((1) or (2))
Enrolment not permitted
ENGL2420 has been successfully completed
Assignment(s), Test(s), Tutorial participation
Topic description

This topic will explore one of the most persistent and pervasive traditions in English literature-the Gothic tradition. From its eighteenth-century origins to its modern mutations, the topic aims to show how Gothic fiction adapts to prevailing historical and socio-cultural conditions to expose and exploit our greatest fears. It will consider a range of familiar tropes-such as haunted houses, sites of ruin, ghosts, monsters, sexual predators, doubles, madness and secrets of the past-within a number of contextual and conceptual frameworks-including religion, the French Revolution, Romantic subjectivity, new sciences and technology, gender and sexuality, and industrial capitalism. The topic will also introduce students to a number of aesthetic categories-such as terror, horror, the sublime, the preternatural, the supernatural and the uncanny-that have helped to define the Gothic mode and enable its proliferation into other forms of media.

Educational aims

This topic aims to:

  • Instruct students how to read and critically interpret a range of Gothic texts
  • Provide cultural, social and historical contexts to enable students to evaluate their influence upon a range of Gothic texts
  • Provide a fundamental understanding of Gothic aesthetics that can be applied across a range of media
  • Develop students' critical reading and writing skills
  • Provide opportunities for students to develop as self-directed, independent learners
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an extensive knowledge of Gothic literature and its relation to broader culture (both then and now), both verbally and in writing
  2. Discuss the literary devices, tropes and narrative styles associated with the Gothic tradition
  3. Demonstrate an extensive knowledge of the aesthetic categories that underpin the Gothic tradition
  4. Apply numerous critical and theoretical frameworks to produce well-reasoned and nuanced responses to the literary texts