E 379S • Senior Seminar
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
E 324 (Topic 2: The Gothic Imagination) may not also be counted
The title of this course refers to a set of literary, historical, and cultural elements that, in the mid-eighteenth century, combined to produce a style of art and writing focused on areas of human experience outside the range of the normal, the realistic, or the conventional. As artists began to explore the human unconscious, human sexuality, and the blind forces both of nature and culture, they devised a specific literary form to express what they were feeling and perceiving. This course will follow their insights into the dark side of the human imagination. We will study a series of both classic and popular literary texts, as well as art in other forms (such as painting and film) in order to understand their discoveries, their anxieties, and their creativity. A fundamental aspect of this course will be the nature of the relationship that Gothic artists attempted to form with their audience.
The course will proceed by discussion, some of it in the form of organized panels that will consider some key topics in Gothic art and literature. We will also, of course, pay a lot of attention to the writing of persuasive critical essays.
2 papers assigned, 6-7 pages each 60%
Panel discussion & report (4 pages) 30%
Seminar participation 10%
Chris Baldick, ed., Gothic Tales
Edgar Allen Poe, Great Short Works
Matthew Lewis, The Monk
Henry James, The Turn of the Screw
Sheridan LeFanu, Carmilla
Thomas Hardy, Wessex Tales
Joyce Carol Oats, Short Stories
Course Booklet with readings in Burke, Coleridge, Darwin, Wm. James, Freud, and others