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    Vassar College
  Jan 18, 2018
Catalogue 2017-2018
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ENGL 351 - Studies in Nineteenth-Century British Literature

Semester Offered: Spring
1 unit(s)

Study of a major author (e.g., Coleridge, George Eliot, Oscar Wilde) or a group of authors (the Brontes, the Pre-Raphaelite poets and painters) or a topical issue (representations of poverty; literary decadence; domestic angels and fallen women; transformations of myth in Romantic and Victorian literature) or a major genre (elegy, epic, autobiography).

Topic for 2017/18b: The Gothic. This course explores the development and the evolution of the Gothic novel in Britain from the mid-eighteenth century to the end of the nineteenth century.  We begin with Horace Walpole, Ann Radcliffe and Matthew Lewis, three of the most important practitioners of the eighteenth-century Gothic novel, before moving to nineteenth-century adaptations and transformations of the Gothic form.  Students read a wide variety of texts, including The Castle of OtrantoA Sicilian RomanceThe MonkNorthanger AbbeyWuthering HeightsThe Woman in White, and Dracula, as well as some of the key theorists of the Gothic. The course addresses different aspects of Gothic writing (e.g., female Gothic, economic Gothic, alien Gothic, urban Gothic) in order to consider how the Gothic’s mad, monstrous and ghostly representations serve as a critique and counterpoint to dominant ideologies of gender, race, nation and class. Susan Zlotnick.  

One 2-hour period.

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