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American Gothic Fiction (Residential) – Georgetown Hoya Summer Sessions - College Credit Courses

American Gothic Fiction (Residential)

College access Academic College credit Residential

Georgetown Hoya Summer Sessions - College Credit Courses

Date/Time: Jun 6, 2022 - Jul 8, 2022    
Ages: 14-18
Cost: $6,831.00

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In this course we will explore the haunted houses, woods, and cities of the American imagination. Through our study of mid-19th-Century American Gothic writers, we will engage the persistent question of why a country that values clarity, freedom, religious purity, inclusion, and progress, produces literature so often characterized by darkness, claustrophobia, madness, monstrosity, and haunting. Specifically, we will look at dialogues between the American dream and madness, between “normal” communities and maniacal individuals, between “The City on the Hill” and the “wilderness” beneath. Then, as we move into the late 19th Century and 20th Century, we will focus on specific contexts of Gothic fiction—namely, the female Gothic, African-American Gothic, Southern Gothic, urban Gothic—and we will consider what these novels and short stories reveal about alternative narratives (especially narratives of otherness) that confront the dominant story of a “self-evident” culture. Among many questions we will address: What is the relationship between the distinctly interior notion of America as an idea (a dream) and the psychological nightmares expressed in many of these texts? What are the distinct forms of dominant culture paranoia that issue from nature spaces and urban spaces? Why might the American South be a repository for the Gothic and the grotesque? Major works to be discussed may include: Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown and Other Tales, Poe’s Great Tales and Poems, Bloch's Psycho, Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Wright’s Native Son, O’Connor’s Selected Short Stories, Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, and Selby Jr’s Requiem for a Dream.


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