Gothic Fictions

Subject ENGL30013 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 170 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 enduring cultural power of Gothic fiction in modernity. It examines the formal conventions of Gothic fiction as they related to the social, cultural, economic and political contexts in which it first appeared in the late 18 th century. It also tracks ways in which the genre was reworked through the 19 th and 20 th centuries. The subject connects changing historical structures of patriarchal and paternal authority to the aesthetics of horror and terror, and links modern notions of individuality to conceptions of monstrosity.

Learning Outcomes:

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 80% 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
  • Zofloya: Or the Moor, C Dacre 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
  • 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 and Theatre Studies
European Studies
Graduate Certificate in Arts - English and Theatre Studies
Graduate Diploma in Arts - English and Theatre Studies
Related Breadth Track(s): English

Download PDF version.