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Unit information: The Gothic in 2021/22

Unit name The Gothic
Unit code ENGLM0040
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Passey
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

The unit introduces students to a selection of major primary texts in the Gothic tradition from Ann Radcliffe on, as well as a number of critical texts which represent some of the major interpretations of the Gothic to have developed over the last thirty years. Themes will include the notions of the explained and the unexplained supernatural; historical differentiations between terror and horror; the emergence and persistence of significant images of the monster, the zombie, the vampire; the various forms of the ghost and the phantom, and how these have recently become concerns not only in literature and literary criticism, but also in critical theory and in psychoanalysis.

The unit aims to develop students' understanding of the historical formation of the Gothic, and also of its various mutations up to the present time. The student should become able to trace the persistence and development of various themes within the Gothic, and also to think about how, whether and to what extent the Gothic is a subcultural form or part of a wider tradition. The student should also become more able to reflect upon the relation between various manifestations of the Gothic and the history within which it has been written, so as to assess the degree to which Gothic may be an 'escapist' form or one which has reflected the concerns of the wider culture(s) to which it responds.

Intended Learning Outcomes

1. A broadened experience of the range and variety of Gothic writing.

2. Improved independent critical thinking about key Gothic topics.

3. A maturing ability to apply critical and cultural concepts to Gothic literature, including considerations of history, psychology and cultural form.

4. Development of skills in research, analysis and critical writing.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities. These can include seminars, lectures, class discussion, formative tasks, small group work, and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Information

1 x 4000 word summative assignment (100%) [ ILOs 1-4


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. ENGLM0040).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.