Group Project—English 180—Gothic Literature
Directions: In groups of 4 people, choose a text that we’ve read this quarter (or will read). Decide whether you want to do an “analysis” project or a “creative” project (see below). You will be given some class time to work on your project, but will also need to put in several hours outside of class. Your group will present your project to the class the last week of the quarter (see syllabus).
Purpose: To get to know a literary text in depth, to put more thought into understanding a text, to select either analytical or creative methods for learning, to practice working with others, and to practice speaking before a group.
Option 1—Analytical: Go to the library and find 3 articles about your text (use Literary Reference Center in CCC library data bases). Synthesize your research—what does it all add up to? How does it help you to better understand the text? Write up a 2-3 page essay (typed) that analyzes the text with the research you’ve found. Share your findings with the class. Sample topics: 18th Century Science and Frankenstein, Walpole’s biography and work, Immigration and Dracula, Poe and the short story genre, Anne Rice and the revival of vampires in pop culture, etc.
Option 2—Creative: After discussing the text as a group, translate the text (novel, poems, short stories) into a different art form. What aspects of the literature (story, style) can you keep? What aspects would you change? How does translating the text help you to understand it better? Sample topics: a collection of paintings for scenes from Otranto, make shadow boxes for scenes from Frankenstein, write a short drama to “act out” Poe’s short stories, write songs for scenes from Dracula and perform them, make puppets and enact a shortened version of Interview with a Vampire. Finally, put together a 1 page narrative explaining how the creative process worked for your group and what you learned from doing it.
Grading: 1/3 teamwork, 1/3 presentation, 1/3 paper. Note: you will probably all receive the same grade, but if someone isn’t doing his/her fair share, then that person will receive a lower grade.
Projects are due by the date indicated on the syllabus. Failure to have them done on time means you get 60% of the credit possible.