Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 15 December 2023
18 March 2022
Requisites for this module
What compels De Monfort's murderous hate? What tragedy has broken Martha Ray? Why does the Ancient Mariner kill the albatross?
At the heart of Gothic literature lies a mystery--one that often remains inexplicable; one that harries, harasses, and haunts characters; and one that drives them, often, to acts of horrible violence. And yet, there is something perversely attractive about this compulsion that licenses desires normally repressed or curbed, desires the existence of which we may not wish even to acknowledge. As a window into the gory crypt of the soul, Gothic literature invades our privacy and makes us squirm in light of what it discovers. To this end, the artworks studied in this module touch on such topics as sexuality, deviancy, monstrosity, madness, and the supernatural. The Gothic revival in England is a late eighteenth-century phenomenon, hence the focus on this time period. We will, however, also reach forward into the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries to explore some of the Gothic's hideous progeny.
Module content note: topics may include sexualised violence, incest, misogyny, xenophobia, human sacrifice, and racism. Please contact the module supervisor if you have any questions.
This module introduces students to a range of works that all participate in the Gothic mode and to encourages critical thinking about key aesthetic topics in the genre—eg horror, terror, the fantastic, the uncanny, the picturesque—as well as recurrent the social, cultural, and philosophical topics, from sexuality to patriarchal authority to nationalism. Further, the module is designed:
1. To provide a strongly supportive learning environment in which students will study Gothic literature.
2. To engage students with critical approaches and theories relevant to the study of Gothic literature.
3. To enable students to take full advantage of the research expertise of the tutor and the resources in the University's Albert Sloman Library.
4. To enhance employability by providing transferable skills that have practical applicability in the world outside the university.
By the end of the module students will be able to:
1. Identify and discuss key, recurring tropes in Gothic literature.
2. Expatiate on key historical, philosophical, and aesthetic elements in the evolution of Gothic literature.
3. Compare and contrast different Gothic texts and treatments of the form.
4. Perform research using a range of resources.
5. Interact productively with classmates to share knowledge, reflect on problems, and formulate interpretations.
6. Enhance their reading and writing skills.
Introduction to the Gothic
Gray, "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" (1751); Aikin (later Barbauld), "On the Pleasure Derived from Objects of Terror, With Sir Bertrand, A Fragment" (1773).
Walpole, The Castle of Otranto (1764/5).
Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (revised version of 1817); Radcliffe, "On the Supernatural in Poetry" (1826).
Baillie, De Monfort (1798) [or film: Merhige (dir.), Shadow of the Vampire (2000)]
Polidori, The Vampyre: A Tale (1819); Keats, "Lamia" (1819/20)
Marsh, The Beetle (1897).
Hoffmann, "The Sandman" (1816)
Freud, "The Uncanny" (1919)
Gaiman, Coraline (2002).
Anticipated teaching delivery: Weekly 1-hour lecture and 1-hour seminar
Coleridge, S.T., Sykes, F.H. and EBSCOhost ebook collection (no date) Rime of the ancient mariner: and select poems
. Waiheke Island: Floating Press. Available at: https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&scope=site&db=nlebk&db=nlabk&AN=314003
Clery, E.J. and Miles, R. (2000a) ‘Ann Radcliffe (1764-1823), “On the Supernatural in Poetry” (1826)’, in Gothic Documents: A Sourcebook 1700-1820
. Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp. 163–172. Available at: https://read.kortext.com/reader/pdf/371120/163
A series of plays: in which it is attempted to delineate the stronger passions of the mind: each passion being the subject of a tragedy and a comedy
(1802). London?: T. Cadell, jun. and W. Davies. Available at: https://archive.org/details/seriesofplaysinw03bailiala/page/n39/mode/2up
Clery, E.J. and Miles, R. (2000b) ‘On the Pleasure Derived from Objects of Terror, With Sir Bertrand, A Fragment’, in Gothic Documents: A Sourcebook 1700-1820
. Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp. 127–132. Available at: https://read.kortext.com/reader/pdf/371120/127
The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list
Assessment items, weightings and deadlines
|Coursework / exam
||Online Portfolio (Submitted via Moodle)
||Essay (1,000 words)
||Online Portfolio (REASSESSMENT)
||Research Essay (2,500 words)
Exam format definitions
- Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
- In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
- In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
- In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary,
for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.
Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Christopher Bundock, email: email@example.com.
Dr Christopher Bundock
LiFTS General Office, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone 01206 872626
Dr Doug Haynes
University of Sussex
Reader in American Literature and Visual Culture
Available via Moodle
Of 32 hours, 32 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.
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