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The Gothic in Literature and Culture (ENGLISH 338, FRENCH 338)

COURSES

Term
  • Spring
Subject Code
COMPLIT
Course Number
338
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The Gothic in Literature and Culture (ENGLISH 338, FRENCH 338)

This course examines the Gothic as a both a narrative subgenre and an aesthetic mode, since its 18th century invention. Starting with different narrative genres of Gothic expression such as the Gothic novel, the ghost tale, and the fantastic tale by writers such as Walpole, Radcliffe, Sade, Poe, and E.T.A. Hoffmann, the course goes on to ask how the Gothic sensibility permeates a wide range of 19th century cultural phenomena that explore the dark side of Enlightenment, from Romantic poetry and art to melodrama, feuilleton novels, popular spectacles like the wax museum and the morgue. If time permits, we will also ask how the Gothic is updated into our present in popular novels and cinema. Critical readings will examine both the psychology of the Gothic sensibility and its social context, and might be drawn from theorists such as Benjamin, Freud, Lacan, Kristeva, and Zizek.