Summer 2013 Seminars
Enrollment requires permission of the Director of Graduate Studies.
ENGL 5323-001: Nineteenth-Century American Literature
Short Fiction: The Gothic
Dr. Ann Daghistany Ransdell
MTWRF 10:00 AM – 12:00 noon
This session we will study nineteenth-century American writers' short fiction. The course will begin with the earlier period as depicted by the historical allegories of Hawthorne, including The Scarlet Letter, My Kinsman, Major Molineux, Young Goodman Brown, and The Maypole of Merrymount. We will study Poe's Civil War racial satires Hopfrog and The Black Cat as well as The Narrative of A. Gordon Pym. The gothic tales of A. Bernard, aka Louisa May Alcott, will be represented by her class and gender study, Behind a Mask, among others, as well as the Civil War stories in her autobiographical Hospital Sketches and My Contraband, that depict her experiences as a Civil War nurse in a converted hotel. Henry James will take us deeper into the gothic tradition with The Turn of the Screw, as will the ghost stories of Edith Wharton, with particular emphasis upon The Lady's Maid's Bell. Our twin focus in this study will be upon the gothic tradition as well as the historical portrait of race and gender relations in nineteenth century America. We will read several critical works: Goddu's Gothic America: Narrative, History and Nation; Andrew Smith's Gothic Literature for the European history background to the form, and Alan Lloyd Smith's American Gothic Fiction. Requirements include brief response papers, three short film/fiction papers, a 15- to 20-page paper and an oral presentation of that paper, as well as a take-home final.
Requirements fulfilled: Early American literature; prose genre.