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EL40VA: SEX AND DEATH: EXPLORING THE FORBIDDEN IN GOTHIC FICTION (2021-2022)

Last modified: 31 May 2022 13:05


Course Overview

This course looks at how eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Gothic Fiction confronts themes and concepts which are considered taboo, unpleasant or strictly. Sexuality and mortality are key themes here, as well as the crossing of class, racial and gender boundaries. We explore how the Gothic can be simultaneously deeply conservative and shockingly radical, and speaks to private fears and desires whilst bringing to public light social injustices and inequalities. This course focuses mainly on the Gothic novel, but may also include poetry and short stories.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Helena Ifill

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • English (EL)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme
  • One of Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4 or Programme Level 5

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

This course looks at how Gothic Fiction, from its earliest days up to the end of the nineteenth century, confronts themes and concepts which are considered taboo, unpleasant or strictly private in the cultural context in which they are produced. Sexuality and mortality are key themes here, but other topics include the crossing of class, racial and gender boundaries. We will consider how the Gothic can be simultaneously deeply conservative and shockingly radical and can speak to private fears and desires whilst bringing to public light injustices and inequalities that society would rather remained hidden. This course focuses mainly on the Gothic novel, but may also include poetry and short stories. The course covers a variety of Gothic tales which engage with forbidden and transgressive ideas in different ways, from early writers such as Ann Radcliffe to late-Victorian vampire texts.


Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Seminar during University week s 10 - 19
  • 1 Tutorial during University week 9

More Information about Week Numbers


Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

Summative Assessments

Alternative Assessment

(30%) 1,500-word Close Reading Essay

(55%) Essay, 3,000-words

(15%) Group Presentation

(10%) SAM

Alternative Resit Assessment

1 x 3,500-word Written Assessment (100%)

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualApplyAbility to demonstrate an understanding of how relevant themes, such as sexuality and mortality, are treated in a range of Gothic texts.
ReflectionApplyAbility to present written work in scholarly form.
ProceduralAnalyseAbility to analyse some of the narrative and literary techniques that authors use to address sensitive or forbidden subject matter.
ProceduralEvaluateAbility to construct coherent, succinct and well-supported arguments, both verbal and written.
ProceduralApplyAbility to situate the texts studied within the context of the literature of the period and contemporary cultural debates.
ConceptualUnderstandAbility to give critically-informed readings of Gothic texts which demonstrate an understanding of relevant theoretical and critical material.
ReflectionUnderstandAbility to show an awareness of how different texts conform to and/or challenge social conventions.

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