We will consider a range of terrifying novels and poems in relation to a central question: were nineteenth- and twentieth-century women frightened or frightening? Or are these two conditions inseparable?
Works we shall read include Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Christabel, Mary Wollstonecraft's Maria, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market, Bram Stoker's Dracula and selected ghost stories by women. We will also read such twentieth-century works as Stephen King's Dolores Claiborne, Shirley Jackson's Haunting of Hill House, and Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale.
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.