How does one speak the unspeakable? In the nineteenth century, writers and readers often turned to ghosts, monsters, vampires and other supernatural tropes to express and explore cultural anxieties, particularly those that remained in the shadows and at the margins of dominant discourses. In this course we will read a variety of Victorian gothic and supernatural texts in the context of nineteenth century anxieties and discourses about sexual transgression, gender roles, disease, madness, spiritualism, the experience of modernity and the problem of the body. We will read a range of literary forms including novels, novellas, short stories and poetry, and both canonical and non-canonical texts, enabling us to understand the breadth of the Victorian writers' achievement in the literary field, and the way that Victorian literature both participated in and emerged from debates in other cultural discourses such as medicine, psychology, sociology and philosophy.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon Successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Analyse, discuss and write critically about the use of supernatural and gothic tropes and their significance in a range of Victorian texts.
- Analyse the work of a range of Victorian writers, both canonical and less well-known, and with a range of genres including the novel, short story and poetry.
- Understand a range of Victorian literature in relation to a range of contexts including Victorian anxieties about modernity, madness, sexual transgression and disease.
- Identify and discuss theoretical discourses concerning class, sexuality, gender and colonialism as these illuminate a range of Victorian texts.
- Read carefully with attention to detail and to the ways in which texts are constructed, and demonstrate this skill in their writing.
- Understand and successfully deploy a range of terms and concepts integral to literary studies.
Indicative AssessmentOne 2,000 word essay (30%) [LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
One 2,500 word essay (40%).%).[LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
One 1,000 word critical analysis (20%) [LO 5, 6]
Tutorial participation (10%) [LO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorials.
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Prescribed texts may include:
Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (novel)
Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol (novella)
A selection of poetry by Christina Rosetti (available on Wattle)
A selection of short stories by Elizabeth Gaskell, Dinah Mulock and Catherine Crowe (available on Wattle)
Mary Braddon, Lady Audley's Secret (novel)
Vernon Lee, Hauntings and Other Tales. (two short stories)
Sheridan LeFanu, 'In a Glass Darkly' and 'Carmilla' (short stories)
John Meade Falkner, The Lost Stradivarius (novella)
R.L. Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Sarah Waters, Affinity (novel)
There will also be a reading brick on Wattle containing critical material.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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