The Haunted Nineteenth Century

In this course, we will read, discuss, and do research about nineteenth-century American Gothic literature. In addition to learning about the conventions of the genre, we will examine the social and historical issues that writers used dark, mysterious tales to expose and critique. We will read works by authors such as Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edith Wharton, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Henry James. We will also consider film adaptations of several works that we will read. Our analyses will focus on issues of race, gender, class, and religion and will touch on themes such as marginalization, imagination, and social injustice.