Senior Honours Seminar
Th, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM
One of the mainstays of gothic and horror fiction, as these emerged in Europe and Britain in the late eighteenth century was a preoccupation with regressive temporality: gothic and horror fiction fixated on a past that supposedly refused to die. Whether represented by ghostly figures that returned from the grave, ancient mansions infested with rot, or “folk” cultures that could not let go of tradition, the past of gothic fiction conjured societies that seemingly resisted Western enlightenment and modernity. This course will look at the origins and history of these gothic tales, beginning with Ann Radcliffe’s famous gothic novel, The Mysteries of Udolpho, and moving on to consider the work of Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, and H.P. Lovecraft. We will conclude by considering some contemporary films, including Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby, Robin Hardy’s Wicker Man, and Jordan Peele’s Us. We will focus on both psychoanalytic and political accounts of the persistence of the past, from Freud’s Beyond the Pleasure Principle to Christina Sharpe’s In the Wake: On Blackness and Being.
As the Faculty of Arts has determined that all BA courses will be offered online in Fall 2020, this course will proceed with a combination of asynchronous (recorded/text/online) materials and assignments and synchronous (real-time) classes in our designated timeslot.