Welcome to the Department of English at Rutgers University

Course No: 350:626
Index # - 18242
Distribution Requirement: A3
Tuesday – 1:10 p.m.
MU 207

The Gothic

Lynn Festa

This course explores the aesthetic, political, and literary turn to the Gothic in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Britain, with some reference to the broader European tradition. We will explore the Gothic in its relation to other literary modes—the sentimental, the sublime, the picturesque, the fantastic— with special attention to its fraught relation to Enlightenment reason and to concepts of historical progress and civilization. Other topics include Gothic treatment of religion and notions of the sacred and the supernatural; the doubling of humanity in relation to liminal forms (monsters, automatons, ghosts); the relation of the Gothic to past and present history (the medieval past; the French revolution); the Gothic critique of domesticity; and Gothic sexualities (with special attention to psychoanalytic models of the form). Readings will include contextualizing works on the historical and aesthetic contexts, modern theoretical and critical scholarship, as well as literary texts by Horace Walpole, Clara Reeve, Jacques Cazotte, Ann Radcliffe, William Beckford, Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin, Matthew Lewis, Sade, Charlotte Dacre, Jane Austen, and Mary Shelley. Requirements: regular class participation including weekly discussions posts to class list-serve; one oral presentation; short paper of 5-7 pages; final seminar paper.

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