We will consider a range of terrifying novels and poems in relation to a central question: were nineteenth-century women frightened or frightening? Or are these two conditions inseparable?
Works we shall read include Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland", Christina Rossetti's "Goblin Market", Bram Stoker's "Dracula" and selected ghost stories by women. We shall place our Victorian material in a context of such earlier works as Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and "Christabel" and Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" . If time permits and the class desires, we shall carry our exploration of terror into the present and explore Margaret Atwood's "Handmaid's Tale" and Joyce Carol Oates' "Dark Water".
There will be two examinations, a midterm and a final. In addition, each student will write a 10-odd page paper on gender and terror in a nineteenth-century work not included on our syllabus.