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Proseminar: Women, Law, and the Gothic

ENGL 550.940
instructor(s):
R 6:30-9:40

The literary portion of this course will explore why Gothic horror becomes such a popular genre for women writing friction in the 18th and 19th centuries. In doing so, we will begin with three terms-sex, violence, and law-and begin asking why Gothic horror is so interested in moments when any two of these terms becomes indistinguishable from one another. We will explore the relation between gender and the law by looking at what happens when sex becomes violent, or when such violence is sanctioned by the state. the goal of this course is to trace the history of attitudes toward women, sex, and violence, and to connect those hearings to modern debates about the relation between representations of sex and violence and the everyday violence that women (and men) experience. There will be several short responses and a final essay.