Introductory seminar course: Haunted Houses, Monsters, Madness - American Gothic Fiction - Details
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Lehrveranstaltung wird in Präsenz abgehalten.

General information

Course name Introductory seminar course: Haunted Houses, Monsters, Madness - American Gothic Fiction
Course number 024 100 0011
Semester WS 2023/24
Current number of participants 30
maximum number of participants 30
Home institute Amerikanistik
Courses type Introductory seminar course in category Teaching
First date Wednesday, 18.10.2023 14:00 - 15:30, Room: (D, 2006)
Online/Digitale Veranstaltung Veranstaltung wird in Präsenz abgehalten.
Hauptunterrichtssprache englisch

Rooms and times

(D, 2006)
Wednesday: 14:00 - 15:30, weekly (14x)

Module assignments


In this course we will explore the haunted houses, woods, and urban spaces of the American imagination. Through our study of mid-19th -Century American Gothic writers, we will engage the persistent question of why a country that values clarity, freedom, religious purity, inclusion, and progress, produces literature so often characterized by darkness, claustrophobia, madness, monstrosity, and haunting. We will start by looking at dialogues between the American dream and madness, between “normal” communities and maniacal individuals, between “The City on the Hill” and the “wilderness” beneath. Then, as we move into the late 19th Century and 20th Century, we will focus on specific contexts of Gothic fiction—namely, the female Gothic, African-American Gothic, urban Gothic, Southern Gothic, and science-fiction Gothic; we will consider what these contexts reveal about alternative narratives (especially narratives of otherness) that confront the dominant story of a “self-evident” culture. Among many questions we will address: What is the relationship between the distinctly interior notion of America as an idea (a dream) and the psychological nightmares expressed in many of these texts? What are the distinct forms of dominant culture paranoia that issue from nature spaces and urban spaces? Why might the American South be a repository for the Gothic and the grotesque?

Required Texts
Butler, Octavia. Fledgling. Preferred Edition: Grand Central Publishing, 2007.

Other, shorter texts and excerpts will be made available on Digicampus.

If your attending this seminar for modules EAS-1411 or EAS-1414, please note that it is mandatory for you to also attend the Narrative Analysis seminar (either Mon, 5.30-7 pm or Thurs, 10-11.30 am).

Admission settings

The course is part of admission "ALW/ELW/NELK: Aufbaumodul BA/LA: PS".
Studierende der Anglistik/Amerikanistik und des Faches Englisch können sich bereits während der vorgezogenen Anmeldephase zur Sicherstellung des Studienfortschritts für die Aufbau- und Vertiefungsmodule anmelden. Hierzu wird ein gewisses Kontingent der Kursplätze im Zeitraum vom 21.08.2023 bis 30.08.2023 für die Anmeldung geöffnet. Die Verteilung der Plätze erfolgt am 01.09.2023. Bitte beachten Sie, dass in dieser Anmeldephase Studierende in höheren Fachsemestern bei der Verteilung der Plätze priorisiert werden.
Die allgemeine Anmeldephase beginnt am 04.09.2023 und endet am 09.10.2023.
The following rules apply for the admission:
  • The enrolment is possible from 04.09.2023, 08:00 to 09.10.2023, 12:00.
  • Enrolment is allowed for up to 1 courses of the admission set.
  • A defined number of seats will be assigned to these courses.
    The seats in the affected courses have been assigned at 09.10.2023 on 15:15. Additional seats may be available via a wait list.
Assignment of courses: