Warning! This unit contains mature content and may not be suitable for some students. Any student under the age of 16 who would like to enrol in this unit must first complete a Parental Consent Form.

Subject details

  • Topics
    • Introduction
    • Horace Walpole: The Castle of Otranto
    • Matthew Lewis: The Monk
    • Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey
    • Edgar Allen Poe: Selected Tales
    • Mary Elizabeth Braddon: Lady Audley's Secret
    • Henry James: The Turn of the Screw
    • Bram Stoker: Dracula
    • Arthur Conan Doyle: The Hound of the Baskervilles
    • Daphne du Maurier: Jamaica Inn
    • Raymond Chandler: The Big Sleep
    • Alfred Hitchcock: Psycho
    • Final Threads
  • Study resources
    • Instructional Methods
      • Disscusion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
      • Standard Media
      • Streaming Multimedia
    • Online Materials
      • Resources and Links

The aims of this subject 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.
  • Assignment 1 - Essay 1 (35%)
  • Assignment 2 - Essay 2 (40%)
  • Assignment 3 - Participation (10%)
  • Assignment 4 - Report (15%)

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 subject

Entry Requirements

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

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject 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.

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