We will consider a range of terrifying novels and poems in relation to these central questions: why, when male writers were and remain masters of horror, do we associate Gothic fantasies with women? Were nineteenth-century women particularly frightened or frightening? Less or more so than women today?
Works we shall read include Charlotte Bront�'s Villette, Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market, Bram Stoker's Dracula and selected ghost stories by women and men. 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, exploring contemporary tales of terror that the class selects.
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.