Gothic Fictions

Subject 670-328 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2009.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available

Usually 12.5 points of first year English.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Peter Otto

Subject Overview:

This subject offers an introduction to the contexts, nature, form and literary children of Gothic fiction. Students should become familiar with the formal conventions and devices of Gothic fiction in relation to the social, cultural and political contexts in which it first appeared (the late 18th century) and some of the ways in which the genre is reworked in the early 19th century, Victorian England, modernism and postmodernism. Students will encounter changing conceptions of the heroine of sensibility, the paternal protector, the family, patriarchal and paternal structures of authority, horror, terror, monstrosity, the individual and sexuality.

Objectives: Students who successfully complete this subject will be able to demonstrate a familiarity with the formal conventions and devices of Gothic fictions;
have a general understanding of the social, cultural and political contexts in which this genre first appeared;
be able to demonstrate an awareness of recent feminist and psychoanalytic accounts of the Gothic;
be able to identify the formal and thematic differences between male and female Gothic;
understand, in general terms, some of the ways in which Gothic fiction developed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

An essay of 1500 words 40% (due mid-semester) and an essay of 2500 words 60% (due at the end of semester).

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved formal extension will be penalised at 2% per day. Students who fail to submit up to 2-weeks after the final due date without a formal extension and/or special consideration will receive a fail grade for the piece of assessment.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

  • Northanger Abbey (J Austen), Claire Grogan (ed) Norton Critical Edition
  • Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (R L Stevenson), World's Classics OUP
  • The Monk (M Lewis), World's Classics, OUP
  • The Selected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe (E A Poe), G R Thompson (ed) Norton Critical Edition
  • The Italian (A Radcliffe), OUP
  • Interview with the Vampire (A Rice), Penguin
  • Frankenstein (M Shelley), P Hunter (ed) Norton Critical Edition
  • Dracula (B Stoker), Auerbach & Skal (ed) Norton Critical Edition
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula (F F Coppola), (Film)
  • Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauns (F W Murnau), (Film)
  • Frankenstein (J Whale), (Film)
  • Bride of Frankenstein (J Whale), (Film)
  • Buffy (J Whedon), (selected episodes)
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • social, ethical and cultural understanding;

  • critical, creative and theoretical thinking;

  • information management and information literacy;

  • intelligent and effective communication of knowledge and ideas;

  • written communication.


Formerly available as 106-277/377. Students who have completed 106-277 or 106-377 are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Ancient, Medieval && Early Modern Studies Major
English Literary Studies Major
European Studies

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