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

Undergraduate Course: American Gothic (ENLI10348)

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
SummaryThis course will look at Gothic Fiction in America from the late 18th-century to the late 20th-century. Attention will be paid to the ways in which American writers deployed and adapted various Gothic stylistic devices to represent key aspects of the American experience. Of particular interest will be the approach the writers on the course took to socio-cultural issues such as the frontier and wilderness, sex and sexuality, slavery and racial differentiation, regional differentiation, urban sprawl. We will also look at psychological concerns such as the representation of Self and Other (at times Self-as-Other), the paranormal, and subjective experience.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( Literary Studies 1A (ENLI08020) AND Literary Studies 1B (ENLI08021) OR English Literature 1 (ENLI08001) AND Scottish Literature 1 (ENLI08016)) AND ( Literary Studies 2A: English Literature in the World, 1380-1788 (ENLI08024) AND Literary Studies 2B: English Literature in the World, post-1789 (ENLI08025) OR Scottish Literature 2A (ENLI08022) AND Scottish Literature 2B (ENLI08023) OR English Literature 2 (ENLI08003) AND 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 civilisation or other interdisciplinary classes, Freshman Year Seminars or composition/creative writing classes/workshops 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 4 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
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Discuss distinctive attributes of American Gothic fiction and to be able to historicize these.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of key relevant critical & theoretical approaches.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of formal innovations in American Gothic Fiction.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of relevant broader cultural and political aspects of American culture
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of some relationships between American and other gothic traditions
Reading List
Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Huntly (1799)
Nathaniel Hawthorne,The House of the Seven Gables (1851)
Edgar Allan Poe, selected stories
Charles W. Chesnutt, The Conjure Woman and other Conjure Tales (1899)
Henry James, 'The Jolly Corner' (1908)
Charlotte Perkins Gillman, The Yellow Wallpaper (1892)
Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Café (1951)
William Faulkner, 'A Rose for Emily' (1930)
Flannery O'Connor, Wise Blood (1952)
Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House (1959)
George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo (2017)

Justin D. Edwards. Gothic Passages: Racial Ambiguity and the American Gothic. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2003.
Markman Ellis. The History of Gothic Fiction. Edinburgh: EUP, 2000.
Teresa A. Goddu. Gothic America: Narrative, History, and Nation. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997.
Robert K. Martin and Eric Savoy, eds. American Gothic: New Inventions in a National Narrative. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1998
Marilyn Michaud. Republicanism and the American Gothic. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2009.
Bernice M. Murphy. The Suburban Gothic in American Popular Culture. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.
David Punter. The Literature of Terror: A History of Gothic Fictions from 1765 to the present day. 2 volumes. London: Longman, 1996.
Allan Lloyd Smith. American Gothic Fiction. London: Continuum, 2005.
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information 2-hour Seminar per week for 10 weeks; plus 1 hour(s) per week for 10 weeks: attendance at Autonomous Learning Group - at time to be arranged.
KeywordsAmerican Gothic Fiction Romance Horror Terror
Course organiserDr Keith Hughes
Tel: (0131 6)50 3048
Course secretaryMs Sheila Strathdee
Tel: (0131 6)50 3619
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