Monstrous Metropolis: Gothic London in Victorian Literature

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Dr. Shea is a Professor of English at Austin Peay State University. His research focuses on Victorian British literature, and he has published on H.G. Wells, Olive Schreiner, William Morris, Friedrich Engels, and Richard Jefferies. He co-edited the book Texts on Two Wheels: Bicycles in Literature and Culture (2016). His recent graduate and undergraduate courses have focused on Victorian travel and transportation, Victorian childhood and children's literature, race and empire in Victorian literature, the Victorian Gothic, Oscar Wilde, Jane Austen, literary criticism and theory, and the Harry Potter novels. He has taught study abroad courses on Harry Potter, the Victorian Gothic, Victorian London, and the multicultural literature of London. He has served as program coordinator for study abroad programs in Ireland.

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Monstrous Metropolis: Gothic London in Victorian Literature

Program Dates:
July 09, 2023 —July 24, 2023

Honors Credit:

WKU Course:
ENG 290

Literature , English , Film Studies

Course Description:
Full of ghosts and gore, hauntings and horror, monsters and murders, Gothic literature has delighted and terrified readers for over two centuries. This course focuses on Victorian London, the labyrinthine city which inspired such Gothic tales as Jekyll and Hyde and Dracula as well as works by Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde, and others. Explore London haunts which inspired the Victorian Gothic (including Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, Highgate Cemetery); trace the artistic and architectural elements of Gothic London; and stalk the dark locales of Jack-the-Ripper. Tentative field trips include Rochester, Cambridge, Strawberry Hill, and Bath.

An introductory literature course.

Physical Activity Requirements:
Contact Faculty

Course Highlights:
“The topic of the course--Gothic literature, with its focus on the supernatural and the macabre--is a perennial favorite among students. Additionally, many of the course activities--including the Jack the Ripper tour, visits to London landmarks such as Westminster Abbey, the Tower, etc., and the out-of-town field trips to popular spots--have proven to be very popular with students.” Dan Shea