July 13, 2000
Courses and Syllabi
Dr. Laura L. Runge
Office: CPR 301C
Gothic Literature, 1760-1820
Time: Tue. and Thur. 12:30-1:45 p
This course examines the classic texts of an infamous genre populated by hero-villains and na´ve innocents, moldering castles and damp dungeons. We will explore the relationship between dominant culture and the dark underside represented, as well as the recurrent themes of sex, sin, family dynamics, politics and nature. Following current scholarship, we will pose questions about belief in the supernatural, representations of violence, the significance of fantasy and fear, and the role of gender, race, class and sexuality.
This course is designed to meet the following objectives:
for students to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of some of the founding texts of the gothic genre;
for students to demonstrate an understanding of the historical contexts of the works of these periods and the relationship between history and the gothic genre;
for students to form and express critical opinions about the themes and developments in the literature through cooperative learning strategies in the classroom and through weekly electronic discussions.
Four Gothic Novels; The Castle of Otranto - Vathek - The Monk - Frankenstein(Oxford UP, 1994)
Clara Reeve, The Old English Baron (in manuscript -- information available in class)
William Godwin, Caleb Williams (Penguin, 1988)
Ann Radcliffe, The Italian (Oxford UP, 1998)
Fred Botting, The Gothic (Routledge, 1995)
(2) 3.5" Floppy disks
For an general introduction to List-serv and Internet functions, see USF Academic Computing Home Page.
Course List-serv -- information on this to follow --
My website: information on class, assignments and links to other important sites on literature, etc.
Other important websites are listed in the schedule of reading and following the assignments.
(All assignments must be read in full by the first date on the syllabus.)
||Walpole, Castle of Otranto
||Reeve, The Old English Baron
||Botting, chap. 4 and articles TBA
||Lewis, The Monk
||Radcliffe, The Italian
||Botting, chapter 5 and articles TBA
||Godwin, Caleb Williams
||Draft of Essay due
||No Class - Thanksgiving
FINAL EXAM Dec 14
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
(Total 200 points)
Weekly Posts (13)
Exam 3 (FINAL)
5-7 page Essay
This syllabus is subject to change.
** Students who anticipate the necessity of being absent from class due to a major religious observance must provide notice of the date(s) to the instructor, in writing, by the second class meeting.
For additional information, please see Course policies.
- Gothic Materials for Study: An excellent site designed for the introductory undergraduate class on Gothic literature by graduate students at the University of Virginia. It features important excerpts from primary and secondary sources.
- The Literary Gothic: By Jack G. Voller, Associate Professor of English at Southern Illinois University; regularly updated, this comprehensive literary site features sections on Authors, Titles, the Gothic Community, General Resources, LitGothic. Each of our authors is noted with a list of relevant internet sites to examine.
- The Gothic Literature Page - The English Gothic Novel from 1764-1820: By Franz J. Potter, Ph. D student at the University of East Anglia; regularly updated, this site features a general introduction to the Gothic novel, Gothic Resources, Gothic Bibliography and a section devoted to Ann Radcliffe. Note that the background on this site makes it difficult to read, and some of the information is greatly simplified.
- The Sickly Taper: By Fred Frank, Professor Emeritus at Allegheny College and well-published Gothic scholar; regularly updated, this site features an excellent and very current bibliography -- a must check for your research papers.
- Gothic Literature - What the Romantics Read: By Douglas Thomson, Associate Professor at Georgia Southern College; this site lists what Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley and Keats were known to have read from the Gothic bibliography, and aims to stimulate discussion of the relationship between gothic and romanticism.
- Gothic Architecture: This site features photos of famous gothic architecture, including Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill Castle.