English 180: Gothic Literature
Instructor: Dr. Julie Brown
Class Meets: MWF 12-1 in T307
Instructor’s Office: T305B
Office Hours: MWF 11-12, T Th 9:30-10:30
Description: Why, in the late 1700s and early 1800s, was a flurry of literature written about vampires, ghosts, and monsters? Why were British and American readers both consumed by the new mode of literature, dubbed “Gothick”? What ideas does Gothic literature borrow from the Goth tribes of the medieval world? Do male and female authors interpret Gothicism differently? How does the Gothic literature from 1960-present re-interpret the old themes and ideas? And, how has the Gothic mode influenced today’s movies, television, music, and culture? These are some of the questions we’ll address this quarter as we read and analyze a sampling of Gothic literature from both Britain and America, from 1790 to the present.
Horace Walpole. THE CASTLE OF OTRANTO
Mary Shelley. FRANKENSTEIN
Edgar Allan Poe. SHORT STORIES OF EDGAR ALLAN POE
Bram Stoker. DRACULA
Anne Rice. INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE
Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to
1) read and understand a literary text
2) articulate the meaning of a text in group discussion
3) analyze the meaning of a text in writing
4) increase your reading pleasure
5) understand the history of Gothic literature
6) become familiar with terms and conventions of literary criticism
7) understand the cultural context of Gothic literature
Assignments and Grading:
25 quizzes over reading (some announced, some impromptu)
25 midterm exam
25 final exam
10 individual research project
15 group project (to be announced)
90-100 A, 80-89 B, 70-79 C, 60-69 D, 0-59, F
Please turn off your cell phone before coming to class. Please do not text in class.
How to Maximize Your Success in This Class:
• Come to class every day. If you need to miss, please call 325-0910 and leave a message.
• Do all of your reading indicated by the date on your syllabus. Be an active reader! Come to class with questions you have about the text or ideas you can share.
• Don’t be absent on quiz days—you will get a zero. If you have an emergency (death in family, you are in hospital), you need to discuss it with me before class to possibly make other arrangements.
• Get your homework in on time. Late work is not read and receives 60%. Again, if you have an emergency, discuss it with me before the deadline to possibly make other arrangements.
• Respect your instructor and the other students in this class. It is very rude to whisper in class, pass notes, walk in late, pack up to leave early, walk out in the middle of class, or have your cell phone ring. Turn off all cell phones before coming to class. Please be courteous of others—in a respectful environment, everyone learns more.
• If you are having problems related to this class or need extra help, please come visit me during office hours or make an appointment if those hours don’t work for you. I am very interested in your success and will do everything I can to help you!
Schedule English 180—Gothic Literature
5 M intro, syllabus, “What is Gothic?”
7 W “Beauty and the Beast,” “Bluebeard”
10 M movie
12 W movie
14 F Walpole pp 1-60, assign individual research projects
17 M MLK—no school
19 W Walpole pp 60-115
21 F Frankenstein ch 1-6
24 M Frankenstein ch 7-12
26 W Frankenstein ch 13-18
28 F Frankenstein ch 19-end
31 M Coleridge (handout)
2 W individual research projects due
4 F continue individual research projects
7 M Midterm
9 W Dracula ch 1-9, assign group projects
11 F Dracula ch 10-18
14 M Dracula ch 19-end
16 W Poe “The Cask of Amontillado”
18 F Poe “The Black Cat,” “The Telltale Heart,” “The Pit and the Pendulum,” “The Premature Burial”
21 M President’s Day—no school
23 W Interview with a Vampire pp 1-70
25 F Interview pp 70-140
28 M Interview pp 140-210
2 W Interview pp 210-280
4 F Interview pp 280-end
7 M group presentations
9 W group presentations
11 F group presentations
Mar 14-17 finals week