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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Undergraduate Course: Mystery and Horror (ENLI10207)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course covers popular fiction of the late 19th and late 20th centuries, look both at genre and history. The course compares texts from both periods, focusing on the figures of the detective, the spy, the serial killer and the scientist. Texts include, for example, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Dracula, The Secret Agent, The Silence of the Lambs and Jurassic Park. In class we will discuss issues of ideology, genre, gender, the unconscious, and the history of surveillance. An element of the course includes Scottish mystery fiction (Conan Doyle, Ian Rankin, R. L Stevenson) and is suitable for students taking a degree including Scottish literature.
Course description This course looks at mystery and horror fiction in the late 19th century, and the late 20th and early 21st centuries, to see how suspense narratives are encoded in society. We will look at detective stories, espionage fiction, ghost stories, horror fiction, and thrillers, to see how ideologies are both reinforced and challenged by popular fiction. The course will consider the emergence and development of the genres, explore the allure of fear, and examine ideas about class and gender in relation to the practices of reading and the circulation of texts.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( English Literature 1 (ENLI08001) OR Scottish Literature 1 (ENLI08016)) AND ( English Literature 2 (ENLI08003) OR Scottish Literature 2 (ENLI08004))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Essential course texts.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesA MINIMUM of 4 college/university level literature courses at grade B or above (should include no more than one introductory level literature course). Related courses such as cross disciplinary, "Freshman Seminars", civilisation or creative writing classes are not considered for admission to this course.
Applicants should also note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission. In making admissions decisions preference will be given to students who achieve above the minimum requirement with the typical visiting student admitted to this course
having four or more literature classes at grade A.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  15
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Other Study Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 166 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) One hour per week Autonomous Learning Group
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) one mid-semester Coursework Essay of c. 2,500 words (40%);
one Final Essay of c. 3,000 words (60%) submitted during exam period
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. The course introduces students to the study of popular fiction as it both contributes to and is produced by ideology.
  2. The comparison of generically-linked texts from either end of the twentieth century encourages discussion of the changes in social history of the period.
  3. The chosen texts guide students into a basic understanding of important theoretical ideas: the unconscious, post-Marxist concepts of ideology, Foucauldian ideas about surveillance and power.
  4. The course encourages discussion of a wider range of film and general reading and an understanding of students' own cultural environment.
Reading List
- Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes: Selected Stories (ed. Barry McCrea, OUP, 2014)
- Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles (ed. W.W. Robson, OUP, 1993/2008)
- Ian Rankin, Black and Blue (Orion, 2008)
- John Buchan, The Thirty-Nine Steps (ed. Christopher Harvie, OUP, 1993)
- John Le Carré, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold (with an Introduction by William Boyd and an Afterword by the author, Penguin, 2010/2011)
- M.R. James, Ghost Stories (ed. Darryl Jones, OUP)
- H.P. Lovecraft, The Classic Horror Stories (ed. Roger Luckhurst, OUP, 2013)
- Margaret Oliphant, The Beleaguered City and Other Tales of the Seen and the Unseen (Canongate, 2000)
- Alice Thompson, Pharos (Virago, 2002)
- Bram Stoker, Dracula (ed. Roger Luckhurst, OUP, 2011)
- Thomas Harris, Silence of the Lambs (Arrow Books, 2013)
- Denise Mina, The Long Drop (Vintage, 2017)
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements Numbers are limited, with priority given to students taking degrees involving English or Scottish Literature and Visiting Students placed by the Admissions Office. Students not in these categories need the written approval of the Head of English Literature before enrolling. In the case of excess applications places will be decided by ballot.
Additional Class Delivery Information One Seminar: 2 hour(s) per week for 10 week(s); Plus attendance for one hour a week at Autonomous Learning Group - times to be arranged.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Penny Fielding
Tel: (0131 6)50 3609
Course secretaryMs Sheila Strathdee
Tel: (0131 6)50 3619
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