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Gothic Bodies

ENGL 1041.001
MW 10:15-11:44am

Born in the second half of the eighteenth century, the gothic is arguably the first literature to achieve mass popularity. Trafficking in ghostly encounters, sexual obsession, and terror, it also was one of the first literatures designed to work on the body — to rack us with suspense, to fill us with dread, to rouse or excite us. Surveying works of the Romantic and Victorian periods, we’ll explore the problem of the body within horror writing. What happens to us physically when we read? How do bodies in our texts help to model or mediate our experience? Starting in the Scottish Enlightenment, we’ll read some Gothic fiction before moving on through supernatural ballads, the melodrama, Sensation fiction, and the Decadent writings foretelling Modernism. Likely authors will include Jane Austen, Emily Bronte, Samuel Coleridge, Wilkie Collins, Olaudah Equiano, Thomas Holcroft, M. R. James, John Keats, Matthew Lewis, Edgar Allan Poe, Ann Radcliffe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, William Wordsworth, and others.

English Major Requirements
  • Sector 1 Theory and Poetics (AETP)
  • Sector 4 Long 18th Century (AE18)
  • Sector 5 19th Century (AE19)
English Concentration Attributes
  • Drama Concentration (AEDR)
  • Poetry & Poetics Concentration (AEPP)
  • The Novel Concentration (AENV)
College Attributes
Additional Attributes