Gothic Fictions

Subject ENGL30013 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

On Campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2.5 A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment: 102
Prerequisites: Completion of at least 12.5 point at second year in English.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: 106-052 Gothic Fictions
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the 3Disability Liaison Unit website: 4


Prof Peter Otto


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.


Students who 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 19th and 20th 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
  • 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
Films may include:
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula (F F Coppola)
  • Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauns (F W Murnau)
  • Frankenstein (J Whale)
  • Bride of Frankenstein (J Whale)
  • True Blood (Alan Ball), (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: Students who successfully complete this subject will acquire skills in:
  • 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 and 106-052 Gothic Fictions. Students who have completed 106-277, 106-377 or 106-052 Gothic Fictions 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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