The Gothic in Literature/Film
The Gothic in Literature/Film 2022-23
School Of Arts, Culture And Language
Module - Semester 1
This introductory course is organized in a loosely chronological way, beginning with some late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Gothic texts (including Shelley's Frankenstein) and concluding with examples of the genre in popular culture. The module explores how Gothic texts have been used to represent cultural anxieties (about gender, sexuality, religion, technology, nationality, and race), but it will also examine how the Gothic has been used to articulate political resistance. It will also pay particular attention to the Gothic as a visual form, both analysing the representation of Gothic spaces in eighteenth and nineteenth-century literature and art, and investigating the importance of the genre to the development of cinema. While the precise topics covered by the module will vary from year to year, themes will include some of the following: Terror and the Sublime; Monstrosity and Deviance; Doubles and Doppelgängers; Domesticity and ‘The Uncanny’; Psychological Gothic; Welsh Gothic; Cybergothic and the Post-human; and Gothic, Gender, and Sexuality. Students will situate texts within their historical and political contexts, covering a range of periods, and will also gain an awareness of important theories (especially Freud’s notion of the Uncanny and Kristeva's notion of the abject) that will be important to the study of literature in the rest of their degree.
- Apply selected critical theories to the study of Gothic texts and films.
- Critically analyse how the Gothic has been used to represent cultural anxieties and give ‘voice’ to, or demonise, different social groups and national interests.
- Identify and critically discuss the significance of particular thematic and formal aspects that characterise Gothic films and texts.
- Reflect on intersections between literary and cinematic texts and wider historical and contemporary social, cultural and political events.
- Select, digest and organise material and produce a consistent and coherent argument, presented in essay form, to a deadline.
- Understand how the Gothic has evolved across different literary periods, cultures, and media.
Close Reading Exercise
Coursework Essay + Annotated Bibliography