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This subject offers an introduction to the contexts, form, and enduring cultural power of Gothic fiction in modernity. It examines the formal conventions of Gothic Fictions in relation to the social, cultural and political contexts in which it first appeared in the late 18th century, while also mapping the ways in which the genre is reworked in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. The subject connects changing historical structures of patriarchal and paternal authority to the aesthetics of horror and terror; investigates links between modern notions of individuality and conceptions of monstrosity; and explores the power of literary fiction to evoke virtual worlds more expansive than the everyday.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should have:
- demonstrated a familiarity with the formal conventions and devices of Gothic fictions;
- a general understanding of the social, cultural and political contexts in which this genre first appeared;
- the ability to identify the formal and thematic differences between terror and horror, and male and female Gothic;
- an understanding of some of the ways in which Gothic fiction developed in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries; and
- a broad understanding of the relations in modernity, as explored by Gothic fictions, between actual and imagined/virtual worlds.
At the completion of this subject, students should gain generic skills in:
- social, ethical and cultural understanding;
- critical, creative and theoretical thinking;
- information management and information literacy;
- intelligent and effective communication of knowledge and ideas; and
- written communication.
Last updated: 26 March 2020