Instructor: Heller | Tues 12:30 PM – 3:20 PM
Since its inception in the late eighteenth century, the Gothic has been one of the most influential and enduring literary genres, inspiring such related genres as mystery, horror, and fantasy, and developing distinctive conventions that have infiltrated even types of literature, such as the realist novel, not usually associated with sensational plots. This course will introduce students to this important genre by reading representative Gothic, and Gothic-inflected, texts from the late eighteenth century through the present, with a particular emphasis on such influential nineteenth-century works as Frankenstein and Dracula. In addition to considering narrative innovations of the Gothic, the course will explore how the genre has been a creative site for articulating cultural anxieties about such contested topics as gender, class, race, sexuality, national identity, and the role and limitations of both science and religion. Students will practice research and writing skills that teach them to produce publishable essays by completing both a short and long paper, and will also take part in a critical roundtable in which a student group leads a discussion on critical articles on assigned primary texts.