English R1B

Reading and Composition: Female Fantasy and the Gothic

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
8 Fall 2005 Monica Soare
TuTh 12:30-2 50 Barrows

Other Readings and Media

"Texts Austen, J.: Northanger Abbey

Bront?, C.: Jane Eyre

Harris, T.: The Silence of the Lambs

Radcliffe, A.: The Mysteries of Udolpho (selections only, in the Reader)

Carter, A.: The Bloody Chamber (selections only, in the Reader)

Course Reader

Required Films:

Rosemary?s Baby (Polanski)

The Silence of the Lambs (Demme)

Hannibal (Scott)



"This class is designed to help you develop your essay writing skills as we read and view our way through some classics of the Female Gothic genre. The most famous canonical text in this genre is Charlotte Bront?s Jane Eyre, while non-canonical examples would be all those women-in-peril thrillers found in supermarkets. The Female Gothic can be said to begin with Ann Radcliffe and to continue into present day horror novels and films. We will look at a variety of texts, including novels, short stories, films, paintings, and criticism, and we will explore the way this genre portrays female psychology, especially female fantasies and female fears. What makes a work a Female Gothic text? What is it about these texts that make them so popular with women? We start out with a well-known modern work, The Silence of the Lambs, so as to establish what we mean by the Female Gothic. We then go back to the beginnings of the genre (in the 1790s) with Ann Radcliffe, and try to figure out how it works and how it evolves.

This is a writing intensive course: you will be writing several essays of various lengths (from 3 to 8 pages) and revising these essays. The focus will be on developing ease in writing longer argumentative essays, on improving your research skills, and on learning how to incorporate research into your writing. We will discuss writing and research strategies throughout the semester, and we will use peer review extensively.

Note: There will be film screenings outside of class. Attending these screenings is not mandatory, but seeing the films is, so they will also be available at the Media Center for you to view on your own. "

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