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American Gothic

ENGL 486.601
instructor(s):
W 5:30-8:10

The Gothic novel developed as a response to the Age of Reason and was subsumed by Romanticism. Yet in its wake the supernatural, horror, and the dimensions of evil still fascinate storytellers, even those specializing in realistic depictions of contemporary society. We will read a selection of American prose fiction by some of the most critically acclaimed writers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Among the authors appearing on the syllabus will be: Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Henry James, Sherwood Anderson, Eudora Welty, H. P. Lovecraft, Shirley Jackson, Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Paul Auster. Readings of fictional works will be supplemented with related secondary criticisms. Requirements: class attendance and participation; class presentation; two papers.