What is the persistent affinity between women and ghosts? Why do women haunt, and under what circumstances are they haunted? Are women in oppressive societies more or less likely to see ghosts--or to be them?
We will explore these and other questions by examining a series of nineteenth-century and twentieth-century ghost tales and films. We shall read works by Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell, Vernon Lee, Shirley Jackson, Maxine Hong Kingston, Pat Barker, and others; films will include The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and The Haunting.
Each student will write a 10-page paper on some work or works not covered on the syllabus. In addition, there will probably be some sort of midterm and final examination.