EL4017 - Gothic Stories: Nineteenth Century to the Present

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will be given the opportunity to study a range of gothic texts from the nineteenth century to the contemporary period. This will provide you with the opportunity to explore the conventions of the genre as well as some of the ways in which gothic writing reflects and/or questions assumptions about race, gender, social class and sexuality. You will learn about the cultural significance of many familiar gothic motifs and figures such as ghosts, uncanny doubles, haunted houses and vampires.

How will I learn on this module?

Learning and teaching will be through a combination of lectures and seminars. Lectures will introduce you to key concepts and critical approaches, and illustrate how they might be applied to literary texts. Seminars will be student-led and encourage debate and discussion. The aims of the module will be consolidated by a combination of formative and summative modes of assessment facilitating students’ awareness of the relevant issues in gothic writing, while also encouraging self-assessment and reflexive learning.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Lectures are supported by power point presentations and handouts; by a dedicated Bb site; by a detailed module guide that clearly sets out in detail the structure of formal teaching; detailed bibliographies that draw upon the latest scholarship in the field of gothic writing; by discussion with the module tutor and in the development of speaking, listening, and critical skills gained through participation in classroom activities.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. An introductory knowledge and understanding of issues raised by a range of gothic texts from the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
2. Introductory intellectual skills in employing theoretical and critical material in relation to gothic writing.
3. Introductory abilities in close and interdisciplinary textual analysis.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

4. Introduction to debates around social class, race, gender, religion, nationality and sexuality and gothic writing’s intervention in those debates.
5. Introductory skills conforming to relevant standards of good academic conduct in the expression of an informed argument in written and spoken forms through completing various activities prescribed.

How will I be assessed?

Summative 1:
Presentation on Freud’s ‘The Uncanny’ (1919) and one text studied on the module. Equivalent to 1,500 words (60%)

This assessment task addresses MLOs 1, 2, 3, 5.

Summative 2: 1 x 1,500 word essay

These assessment tasks address MLOs 1, 3, 4, 5.

b. Additional formative assessment – detail of process and rationale.

5 Minute ‘mini’ presentations delivered in small groups with peer review.

c. Indication of how students will get feedback and how this will support their learning.

Feedback on formative presentations will be delivered with comments on feedback sheets designed specifically for presentation work. Feedback on summative work will be delivered according to the existing protocols of the Humanities Department on feedback sheets In addition, students will be encouraged to reflect critically on their own work by completing a self-evaluation sheet to accompany submitted work asking them to identify strengths and weaknesses and to request specific feedback in key areas.





Module abstract

What creates that feeling of anxiety, the shiver up the spine, the strange sensation produced by the gothic text? Why do we remain fascinated by the figure of the vampire, the monster, the psychopath or the zombie? Have we always been drawn to spine tingling tales and ghostly narratives or is contemporary culture particularly obsessed with gothic themes? This module will introduce students to a range of gothic texts from the nineteenth through to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in order to answer some of these questions. It will provide students with the opportunity to think about how psychoanalytic theory might help us to understand the effects of gothic fiction and, more generally how theory can inform interpretation. Students will be assessed through a presentation and one essay allowing them to develop their presentation skills as well as their writing skills.

Course info

UCAS Code T710

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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