Gothic Visions: From Sublime to Suburban Gothic - 2016

This unit contains mature content including Adult Themes, Drug use, Nudity, Sex / Sexual References and Violence and may not be suitable for some students.
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This page is for past year, View 2017 unit details.

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 2
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP1 , SP3
  • Assessment: Essay 1 - Critical Essay (1500-2000 w) (35%) , Essay 2 - Research Essay (2500 w) (40%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 782.00
HECS 782.00
International 1,032.00

This unit tracks the urban cultural history of the Gothic genre from the sublime landscapes and haunted castles of Ann Radcliffe to the hyper-real suburban universe of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. From its inception the Gothic genre has been a popular and controversial cultural phenomenon, which has dramatised the darker side of the senses and imagination, as well as testing the boundaries of literary taste. In Gothic fiction, nothing is ever certain. The domestic and familiar are merely comforting illusions that veil the darker reality of unspoken fears and desires. Home, city, work, identity, sexuality, the body and the mind are all sites that are open to the destabilising play and uncanny effects of the Gothic imagination, as the selected texts, films and TV series, which range from the popular to the canonical, exemplify.

The aims of this unit are:

  1. To introduce students to a range of Gothic texts and cultural forms
  2. To develop analytical and research skills that can be applied to past and present cultural and literary debates
  3. To teach students to communicate historical and theoretical concepts via essays and discussions
  4. To develop a greater understanding of the profound impact on contemporary culture of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century cultural forms
  5. To develop a greater understanding of the historical and often hierarchical deployment of concepts of culture, violence and the criminal, progress, reason and superstition, the imagination, literary and aesthetic value.
  • Essay 1 — Critical Essay (1500-2000 w) (35%)
  • Essay 2 — Research Essay (2500 w) (40%)
  • Participation — Discussion Forum (10%)
  • Report — Report (500-750 w) (15%)

Mandatory prerequisites

You must have successfully completed the following unit(s) before starting this unit:

If you have completed equivalent study at another university, please contact a Student Advisor for advice.

  • Broadband access — Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient

This unit addresses the following topics.

2Horace Walpole: The Castle of Otranto
3Matthew Lewis: The Monk
4Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey
5Edgar Allen Poe: Selected Tales
6Mary Elizabeth Braddon: Lady Audley's Secret
7Henry James: The Turn of the Screw
8Bram Stoker: Dracula
9Arthur Conan Doyle: The Hound of the Baskervilles
10Daphne du Maurier: Jamaica Inn
11Raymond Chandler: The Big Sleep
12Alfred Hitchcock: Psycho
13Final Threads

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media
  • Streaming Multimedia

Online materials

  • Resources and Links

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

  • Selected Tales

    By:Poe Edgar Allan

    ISBN: 9780199535774


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • The Castle of Otranto

    By:Walpole, Horace

    ISBN: 9780198704447


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • Jamaica Inn

    By:Du Maurier

    ISBN: 9781844080397


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • Big Sleep

    By:Chandler, Raymond

    ISBN: 9780141037592


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • Hound of the Baskervilles

    By:Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

    ISBN: 9780007368570


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • The Monk

    By:Lewis, Matthew

    ISBN: 9780198704454


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • Lady Audley's Secret


    ISBN: 9780140435849


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • The Turn Of The Screw & The Aspern Papers

    By:Henry James

    ISBN: 9781853260698


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

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