HC 222H : The Literary Gothic

Professor: Katy Brundan

4.00 credits

  • CRN22594: Monday & Wednesday, 1215-1345 @ REMOTE

What does it mean when we say a literary text is Gothic? How does the Gothic affect us, its readers or viewers? The Gothic has often coincided with moments of great societal change or transitional time periods. In difficult times particularly, we may find the Gothic’s dark vision intriguing, alluring, and cathartic. In this course, we will explore different versions of the Gothic that emerged in different time periods, from its inception to its modern use as a way of articulating and approaching the legacy of racial oppression. We will consider the Gothic's alignment with the marginal, “other” sexualities, transgression, the sublime, terror, horror, darkness, antiquity, trauma, and resistance to female oppression. We will read the first Gothic novel, Horace Walpole’s Castle of Otranto (1764), followed by novels that produced compelling developments in the genre: Ann Radcliffe’s The Italian (1797)Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897), and Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1987). This course will introduce students to some literary theory, from narrative theory to psychoanalysis, as well as examine philosophical texts, architecture, and art of the period(s). There will be two essays, a short creative writing project, and a group Infographic project.