Spring 2022

Gothic/Horror: Literature, Film, Television

Listed in: English, as ENGL-374  |  Film and Media Studies, as FAMS-374


Lise Shapiro Sanders (Section 01)


(Offered as ENGL 374 and FAMS 374) Gothic fictions are known for their ability to send shivers down the spine, evoking sensations of discomfort, fear, and horror. This interdisciplinary course will explore the genre of the Gothic from its roots in the late eighteenth century through the present, moving among literature, film, television, and digital media forms. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein will be a key text; we will explore intermedial texts like Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Bram Stoker’s Dracula; and the course will end with twenty-first century incarnations of the Gothic (Get Out, Penny Dreadful). Throughout, we will discuss the tangled relationship between sexuality, race, and power that characterizes the genre. Students will  develop a creative project, whether a piece of short fiction or a visual/digital exploration of Gothic themes, keep a weekly reading/viewing journal of their responses to the assigned texts, and facilitate discussion on a given text. In addition, students will write a 3- to 5-page close textual analysis, with a mandatory peer review workshop and revision, and a final research paper (10-12 pages) or creative project. Students will gain a familiarity with key literary and film/media studies terms and approaches; an understanding of major works in the Gothic and horror genres; an ability to think and write critically about Gothic literature and related media, in terms of aesthetics, historical development, and cultural context; confidence in reading critical/theoretical essays in literary studies, cultural studies, and film and media studies; and proficiency in various aspects of project-based work, including identifying a research topic, building arguments, using evidence, and working with and appropriately citing a variety of sources.

Requisite: A 200-level foundations course in English or Film & Media Studies, or equivalent. Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Sanders.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: emphasis on written work, readings, independent research, oral presentations, discussion facilitation, group work, close textual analysis, visual analysis, revision, self-evaluation Students with documented disabilities who will require accommodations in this course should be in consultation with Accessibility Services and reach out to the faculty member as soon as possible to ensure that accommodations can be made in a timely manner.


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2022