Course Details for Professor Sarah Blackwell - Winter - 2018-19

London Gothic: From White Witches to Madwomen in the Attic

Photo of Blackwell Sarah

Instructor/Lecturer (More Info)

Faculty:
Professor Sarah Blackwell (More Info)

Course:
London Gothic: From White Witches to Madwomen in the Attic

Program Dates:
December 26, 2018 - January 8, 2019

Honors Credit:
Available

WKU Course:
ENGL 290

Discipline(s):
Comparative Literature , English Language and Literature

Course Description:
From witches and ghosts to the mentally ill, this course will explore Gothic novels and short stories on location in London! We’ll begin by reading works from the British Gothic tradition to help us define the genre, and investigate what makes a novel “Gothic.” Then we’ll read the contemporary British novels Her Fearful Symmetry and White is for Witching, while using London as our classroom. We’ll visit Victorian spiritualist homes, explore Highgate Cemetery, and tour Gothic museums and places that inspired the works we’re reading. Our ultimate aim will be to consider whether contemporary novels fit within Britain’s Gothic tradition.

Prerequisites:
Students should have completed their college’s basic writing / composition or introduction to literature requirement.

Physical Activity Requirements:
Participants should prepare for up to 6 miles of walking per day and pack appropriate clothing for the weather in London in the winter (the average temperature in London in December is around 43* F).

Course Highlights:
  1. This course will explore Gothic novels and short stories on location in London!
  2. We’ll begin by reading works from the British Gothic tradition to help us define the genre, and investigate what makes a novel “Gothic.”
  3. Then we’ll read the contemporary British novels Her Fearful Symmetry and White is for Witching, while using London as our classroom.
  4. We’ll visit Strawberry Hill (Horace Walpole's neo-gothic palace and inspiration for the first Gothic novel The Castle of Otronto), Victorian spiritualist homes, explore Highgate Cemetery, and tour Gothic museums –places that inspired the works we’re reading.
  5. Contemporary Gothic novels cover issues that are relevant and timely such as: mental illness, power struggles, belief (with a healthy amount of doubt) about the supernatural, and how we (as individuals and as whole communities) process times of social and political crisis