Gothic Evolutions: Literature and Visual Culture (EAS3229)

30 credits

This module will explore how behind these rather momentous questions, the gothic has raised, and continues to raise, some fearful spectres: the unknown, the other, authority, power, tyranny, sexuality, desire and human monstrosity. All these issues are related in some way to the question: what does it mean to be human in the modern world? Where are the borders of the human? As we will see in this module, the gothic continues to provide writers and cultural commentators with the tools and tropes to explore important questions related to modernity, human nature and human identity. In this module, we will engage in close textual analysis of some of the more canonical literary texts but also some lesser known works, as well as visual art. We will structure our study by focusing on the evolution of three key gothic figures: the female seductress, the scientifically-created monster, the vampire. At each point, we will situate our reading within a broader historical and theoretical context.