Gothic Fictions

Subject ENGL30013 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

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

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 102-hours across the semester, including class time.





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:

670-328 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 Disability Liaison Unit website:


Prof 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.


On completion of the subject students should have:

  • demonstrated a familiarity with the formal conventions and devices of Gothic fictions;
  • a general understanding of the social, cultural and political contexts in which this genre first appeared;
  • the ability to demonstrate an awareness of recent feminist and psychoanalytic accounts of the Gothic;
  • the ability to identify the formal and thematic differences between male and female Gothic;
  • an understanding, 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 in the examination period). This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 75% attendance and regular participation in tutorials. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

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
  • Heroes and Villains Angela Carter, Penguin

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
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 and Early Modern Studies Major
English Literary Studies Major
English and Theatre Studies
English and Theatre Studies
English and Theatre Studies
European Studies
Related Breadth Track(s): English

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