Ghosts and the Gothic
Gold Coast, Australia
Area of Study
Taught In English
Prerequisite: Assumed knowledge of essay writing and critical interpretation.
Course Level Recommendations
ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3 - 4
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4 - 6
Hours & Credits
OverviewCourse DescriptionGhosts and the Gothic traces the history of the Gothic genre from its origins in the ghoul-infested castles and spectralised landscapes of 18th century art and literature through to the secretive suburban blood-suckers of contemporary television drama. From its beginnings the Gothic has been a popular and controversial phenomenon that has drawn its energies from the darker regions of the imagination and the borderlands of taste. In the Gothic nothing is as it seems. The world of cheerful and comforting appearances, secure homes, grand cities, and the reassuring solidity, identity and sexuality of the body are all made vulnerable by the uncanny effects of the Gothic imagination. In this course we'll follow the development of the Gothic in selected texts, films and TV series.Course Introduction
From its beginnings the Gothic has been a popular and controversial phenomenon that has drawn its energies from the darker regions of the imagination and the borderlands of taste. In the Gothic nothing is as it seems. The world of cheerful and comforting appearances, secure homes, grand cities, and the reassuring solidity, identity and sexuality of the body are all made vulnerable by the uncanny effects of the Gothic imagination.Course AimsGhosts and the Gothic aims to familiarise its students with the history of the Gothic genre from its 18th century cultural and social origins, as expressed in the literature and art of the time, to its recent manifestations in popular screen entertainment.The course engages students conceptually, ethically and imaginatively through reading, viewing, analysis and group discussion. Through lecture attendance and class participation, students will discover how to recognise and interpret meaning and technique in literature and film.Students who attend regularly and participate in the class will gain practice in critical observation, analysis and interpretation, enabling them to identify the importance of the Gothic as a reflection of broad cultural transitions and to relate the literature of the past to current popular screen drama.During class discussion, we will enter into theoretical debates about culture, gender, identity, class, technology, popular and high culture, ethics and race that Gothic narratives and forms illuminate, thus connecting the content of this course to others in the School and Faculty.The course will build on skills and knowledge developed in first year and will complement those taught in other second and third year courses.Learning OutcomesAfter successfully completing this course you should be able to:
- exercise new competencies in research and analysis acquired through literary, screen and cultural study of the course's wide-ranging texts and contexts.
- apply skills in critical interpretation to past and present cultural and literary debates.
- better communicate historical and theoretical concepts in both oral and written form by having practiced these skills in class and assessment items.
- develop a greater understanding of the profound impact on contemporary culture by eighteenth and nineteenth century fictions, their genealogies of taste and rational explanation of the irrational.
- develop an historical understanding of transformations of concepts of genre and literary value that shape modern theoretical and institutional controversies.
- gain a greater understanding of the historical and often hierarchical deployment concepts of culture, nation, progress, reason and superstition, literary and aesthetic value.
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.
Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.