Summer 2012 Courses
English 5323: Studies in Nineteenth-Century American Literature
American Short Fiction: The Gothic
Summer I 2012
10 am to 11:50 MTWTF
Dr. Ann Daghistany Ransdell
This session we will read five American short story writers: Hawthorne, Poe, Alcott, James and Wharton. Our focus will be upon how the stories engage the history of the period and its antecedents in Puritanism, The Revolutionary War, as well as race through slavery and the Civil War. Gender and class will be studied together with women’s issues of education and employment. We will study carefully the Gothic genre in its versions of moral gothic (Hawthorne), terror and horror gothic (Poe), gothic thrillers and Civil War stories (Alcott), and the ghost story (James and Wharton). Requirements: a 15 page written paper on the student’s choice of topic within a general, assigned subject; an oral presentation of that paper, three short fiction and film papers that compare and contrast one aspect in each media (text and movie), and response papers on the readings. The final examination will be distributed in advance, to be completed within the student’s individual time frame. Only one absence is allowed without penalty. Unexcused absences over one will result in five points taken off the overall grade average.