ENGL 2218 Gothic Fiction

ENGL 2218: Gothic Fiction
Dr. Judith Thompson
Fall 2019

Course Description
The Gothic is an eternally popular mode that delves beneath the surface of self and society to unearth terrors, horrors, mysteries and anxieties at their foundations. This section of Gothic Fiction will introduce the transnational, transgeneric sweep of this psychologically, politically and sexually transgressive mode by focusing on definitive moments in three distinct national traditions (British, American and Canadian) over three centuries (eighteen to twentieth). Taking fiction broadly to include novels, short stories and a play, we will approach the gothic historically, enquiring why its spirits rise when and where they do, and in what forms.

The reading load is heavy, and students are encouraged to get a head start by reading one or more of the longer novels (Radcliffe’s The Italian, Lewis’ The Monk and MacDonald’s Fall on Your Knees) during the summer. The syllabus is also designed to make the reading manageable: longer works alternate with shorter ones, and more time is allotted to the longer novels, with lectures organized to work chronologically through them.

Evaluation will be based on participation (online and in-class), an oral presentation, a preliminary short written assignment, an essay and a final exam.