CULT19015 - Explorations in the Gothic
Term 2 - 2017


All details in this unit profile for CULT19015 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student). The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.

Overview

In this unit students will explore the gothic mode in both contemporary culture as well as in the historical sense. Through study of a range of films, literature, artforms, media and journalism as well as critical commentary, students will be given an opportunity to discuss and debate important issues of sexual identity, the relation between nature and culture, and popular pleasure through transgressive style.

Details

Career Level Undergraduate
Unit Level Level 2
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 1
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Prerequisite: Minimum of 18 credit points

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Offerings

Term 2 - 2017
  • Distance

Website

This unit has a website, within the Moodle system, which is available two weeks before the start of term. It is important that you visit your Moodle site throughout the term. Go to Moodle

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Assessment Overview

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 25%
2. Written Assessment 25%
3. Written Assessment 50%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Procedures for more details of interim results and final grades.

All University policies are available on the IMPortal.

You may wish to view these policies:

  • Grades and Results Procedure
  • Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework)
  • Review of Grade Procedure
  • Academic Misconduct Procedure
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – Domestic Students
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – International Students
  • Refund and Excess Payments (Credit Balances) Policy and Procedure
  • Student Feedback – Compliments and Complaints Policy and Procedure
  • Acceptable Use of Information and Communications Technology Facilities and Devices Policy and Procedure

This list is not an exhaustive list of all University policies. The full list of University policies are available on the IMPortal.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback Source Recommendation
The wording in the assessment topics could be clearer. Student evaluation All assessment items will be reviewed for clarity of expression.
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Discuss the Western Gothic as it has manifested itself across a range of cultural texts including film and literature from its inception in the eighteenth century up to the present.
  2. Discuss the Gothic's transgressive mode, particularly the way in which this problematises questions of gender and sexuality.
  3. Demonstrate further development of your analytical and written communication skills.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Written Assessment

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1. Communication
2. Problem Solving
3. Critical Thinking
4. Information Literacy
5. Team Work      
6. Information Technology Competence    
7. Cross Cultural Competence
8. Ethical practice

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

  • Introductory Level
  • Intermediate Level
  • Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 - Written Assessment  
2 - Written Assessment
3 - Written Assessment  

Prescribed Textbooks

Gothic: the new critical idiom.
Author/s: Bolting, F. Year: 2014
Edition: Publisher: Routledge
City: London
Country: UK
Handbook of Gothic literature.
Author/s: Mulvey-Roberts, M. Year: 1998
Edition: Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan.
City: Houndsmill State: Basingstoke
Country: UK
Three Gothic novels (includes Castle of Otranto, Vathek, and Frankenstein).
Author/s: Walpole, H. Year: 1974
Edition: Publisher: Penguin
City: London
Country: UK
Zombie
Author/s: Oates, Joyce Carol Year: 1996
Edition: Publisher: Penguin Putnam
Country: USA
Perfume: the story of a murder.
Author/s: Suskind, P Year: 2010
Edition: Publisher: Penguin
City: London
Country: UK
The Monk
Author/s: Lewis, M. Year: 1998
Edition: Publisher: Vintage - Random House
City: London
Country: UK
The White Hotel
Author/s: Thomas, D. M. Year: 1999
Edition: Publisher: Orion Publishing Co.
City: London
Country: UK
Dracula
Author/s: Stoker, B. Year: 2003
Edition: Publisher: Penguin
City: London
Country: UK
Wuthering Heights
Author/s: Bronte, E. Year: 2009
Edition: Publisher: Penguin
City: London
Country: United Kingdom
View textbooks at the CQUniversity Bookshop
Note:

Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates is out of print. You can purchase paperback copies from Fishpond, or an ebook version or Kindle Edition from Amazon or other publishers. Copies may also be purchased via Ebay.

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
All submissions for this unit must use the Harvard (author-date) referencing style (details can be obtained here). For further information, see the Assessment Tasks below.
Unit CoordinatorTris Kerslake (t.kerslake@cqu.edu.au)
Note: Check the Term-Specific section for any additional contact information provided by the teaching team
Week Begin Date Module/Topic Chapter Events and Submissions
Week 1 10-07-2017

Introduction: Explorations in the Gothic.

In this unitwe will examine the essential Gothic themes of horror, death and romance and explore some of the major issues raised by the genre across a number of literary and filmic texts.

Botting:

  • Chapter 1: Introduction

Mulvey-Roberts:

  • Introduction

Botting, Fred 2014, Gothic (The new critical idiom), Routledge.

Mulvey-Roberts, Marie 998, The Handbook to Gothic Literature, Routledge.

Week 2 17-07-2017

The Castle of Otranto (1764), Horace Walpole

The earliest accepted Gothic novel, Walpole, a British Earl, was among the very first to incorporate the iconography of Romance woven into a story of horror, tragedy and romantic love.

Botting:

  • Chapter 2: Gothic origins

Mulvey-Roberts:

  • 'Walpole, Horace'
  • 'Death'
Week 3 24-07-2017

Vathek (1786), William Beckford

Originally written in French, the narrative tells an elegantly-crafted story of sensuality, pride and violence when the ill-fated Caliph Vathek of Baghdad makes a pact with the Devil.

Botting:

  • Chapter 3: Gothic forms

Mulvey-Roberts:

  • 'Beckford, William'
  • 'Horror'
Week 4 31-07-2017

The Monk (1796), Matthew Lewis

A story of scandalous, erotic obsession and the corruption of power. This novel was roundly condemned as blasphemous and depraved upon its original and anonymous publication.

Botting:

  • Chapter 4: Gothic writing in the 1790s

Mulvey-Roberts:

  • 'Lewis, Matthew'
  • 'Occultism'

A voluntary Zoom session is scheduled for this week to discuss Assessment Item 1. Please check the moodle unit site (see 'Assessment' block) for details.

This session will be recorded and available for download soon thereafter.

If you have questions about the assessment item, but cannot attend the Zoom session, please post your questions on the Assignment 1 Discussion forum.

Week 5 07-08-2017

Frankenstein (1818), Mary Shelley

The story of the Modern Prometheus is a tragedy to rival Shakespeare's best. Set during a period of great social change, the narrative follows the rise of scientific hubris and a tragic descent into madness and oblivion.

Botting:

  • Chapter 5: Romantic transformations

Mulvey-Roberts:

  • 'Shelley, Mary'
  • 'Romanticism'
Essay Due Friday (11 Aug 17) 06:00 PM AEST
Vacation Week 14-08-2017

Break Week

Week 6 21-08-2017

Wuthering Heights (1874), Emily Bronte

Published the year before Bronte's death, initial reviews for the novel were divided. Not only were its depictions of mental and physical cruelty bleak and confronting, but it openly challenged the social mores of the day.

Botting:

  • Chapter 6: Homely gothic

Mulvey-Roberts:

  • 'Brontë, Emily'
  • 'The Brontës'
Week 7 28-08-2017

Dracula (1897), Bram Stoker

Stoker was not the inventor of the vampyre, but he was the first to bring the notion of the undead into modern fictional narratives. A classic novel of the Gothic genre.

Botting:

  • Chapter 7: Gothic returns in the 1890s

Mulvey-Roberts:

  • 'Stoker, Bram'
  • 'Female gothic'
  • 'Vampire'
Week 8 04-09-2017

The White Hotel (1981), D.M. Thomas

Three narratives or movements examining the erotic fantasies of Lisa Erdman, an opera singer. The narratives overlap to form a chilling and horrific witnessing of the Holocaust in WWII. Short-listed for the Booker Prize.

Mulvey-Roberts:

  • 'The sublime'
  • 'The supernatural'

A voluntary Zoom session is scheduled for this week to discuss Assessment Item 2. Please check the moodle unit site (see 'Assessment' block) for details.

This session will be recorded and available for download soon thereafter.

If you have questions about the assessment item, but cannot attend the Zoom session, please post your questions on the Assignment 2 Discussion forum.

Week 9 11-09-2017

Perfume (1985), Patrick Suskind

Originally published in German, this episodic narrative of the main character examines how the sense of smell can be taken to extremes, as well as the extremes of murder and moral antipathy that such divergence from a perceived 'normal' may cause.

Mulvey-Roberts:

  • 'German gothic'
  • 'Terror'
Research Paper Due Friday (15 Sep 17) 06:00 PM AEST
Week 10 18-09-2017

Zombie (1995), Joyce Carol Oates

This text looks at the extreme and the gruesome in modern America, offering a diaristic experience of a young serial killer determined to acquire a zombie.

Botting:

  • Chapter 8: Phamtomodernisms

Mulvey-Roberts:

  • 'Gothic body'
  • 'The grotesque'
Week 11 25-09-2017

The Unholy (1998) and The Club (1993)

The Gothic edifices in The Club and The Unholy serve as both a setting and a symbolic signifier. Labyrinths, dungeons, burial vaults and confined spaces illustrate the realm of the unconscious.

Botting:

  • Chapter 9: Consuming monsters

Mulvey-Roberts:

  • 'Monstrosity'
  • 'Gothic film'

A voluntary Zoom session is scheduled for this week to discuss Assessment Item 3. Please check the moodle unit site (see 'Assessment' block) for details.

This session will be recorded and available for download soon thereafter.

If you have questions about the assessment item, but cannot attend the Zoom session, please post your questions on the Assignment 3 Discussion forum.

Week 12 02-10-2017

Night Train to Venice (1993)

Intrigue, darkness and sexual repression follow the central character in this film where iconic images of the Gothic abound, as do the Jungian archetypes of good and evil.

Mulvey-Roberts:

  • 'Gothic drama'
  • 'The uncanny [Unheimlich]
Analytical Essay Due Friday (06 Oct 17) 06:00 PM AEST
Review/Exam Week 09-10-2017
Exam Week 16-10-2017

1 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Essay
Task Description

Essay - 1500 -1800 words - 25 marks

Write an essay on one (1) of the following topics:

Examine the idea of 'terror' in the The Castle of Otranto. Discuss with reference to the women in the narrative.

OR

To what extent is the Christian tenet of 'the threat of divine punishment' visible in Vathek's decline?

OR

Investigate the concepts of 'romance' and 'Romanticism' using Matthew Lewis' The Monk (1796).

OR

Consult with your lecturer to create your own essay topic on any of the above texts.


More details on the preparation of this assignment may be found on the Moodle website.

Assessment Due Date Week 5 Friday (11-Aug-2017) 06:00 PM AEST
Assignment is to be submitted to Moodle by or before the due date
Return Date to Students Week 7 Friday (01-Sep-2017)
Assignments will usually be returned within 10 working days of submission
Weighting 25%
Assessment Criteria

The following assessment criteria will be used for this assessment task:

  1. Does your essay have a clearly articulated thesis (point of view) that can be considered as an answer to the question and the specific issue/s related to the chosen novel and its critical and theoretical location/s regards the gothic that the question raises?
  2. Have key terms been clearly defined in a scholarly manner and is the central thesis of the short essay supported with clear arguments supported by relevant evidence from the text(s)?
  3. Has secondary criticism (at least 3 credible sources) been used to support the arguments and does the essay show an understanding of the relevant critical theory regards the gothic that is being called upon?
  4. Has care been taken with presentation, grammar, expression and spelling (i.e., has the essay been carefully edited)?
  5. Have all sources been properly acknowledged both in-text and in the reference list using the Harvard Author-date system (i.e., ideas, paraphrases as well as quotations)?
Referencing Style Harvard (author-date)
Submission Online

Online submission through Moodle.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Discuss the Western Gothic as it has manifested itself across a range of cultural texts including film and literature from its inception in the eighteenth century up to the present.

2. Discuss the Gothic's transgressive mode, particularly the way in which this problematises questions of gender and sexuality.

3. Demonstrate further development of your analytical and written communication skills.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

6. Information Technology Competence

7. Cross Cultural Competence

8. Ethical practice



2 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Research Paper
Task Description

Research Paper - 1500 -1800 words 25 marks

Using the structure provided on the unit website, prepare a formal research paper on one (1) of the following topics:

The monstrous body is as central trope in the Frankenstein story. Explore the concept of monstrosity in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to examine how the monstrous body has been translated, imagined, and/or re-imagined into visual form using two (2) specific films as reference.

OR

Discuss the concept of 'Female Gothic' with reference to Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights and two (2) other gothic texts of your choice (you may chose either a film and another text, or two other novels, or, two films). How has each text highlighted tropes and themes characteristic of 'Female Gothic'?

OR

William Hughes (1988) argues that the figure of the vampire has been eroticised and that this characterisation has been at the expense of 'the literary vampire.' With reference to Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897), explore the concept of 'the literary vampire' and examine, using two films as reference, how the popular eroticisation of the vampire seems to dominate any other signification of the trope

OR

Choose a film from any era (e.g. Rosemary's Baby (1968), The Exorcist (1973), The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005), Drag Me To Hell (2009), Insidious (2010), The Rite (2011), Paranormal Activity [film series: 1 - 6]) which focuses on the demonic. What aspects of the Gothic does your chosen film employ in representing the demonic and for what purposes?

OR

You may opt to create your own research topic on any of the above texts subject to the lecturer's approval.


More details on the preparation of this assignment may be found on the Moodle website.

Assessment Due Date Week 9 Friday (15-Sep-2017) 06:00 PM AEST
Assignment is to be submitted to Moodle by or before the due date
Return Date to Students Week 11 Friday (29-Sep-2017)
Assignments will usually be returned within 10 working days of submission
Weighting 25%
Assessment Criteria

The following assessment criteria will be used for this assessment task:

  1. Does your essay have a clearly articulated thesis (point of view) that can be considered as a research topic critically examining the specific concern relating to the chosen novel/author/text and its critical and theoretical location/s regards the gothic that the question/s raised?
  2. Have key terms been clearly defined in a scholarly manner and is the central thesis of the research paper supported with clear arguments supported by relevant evidence from the text(s)?
  3. Has secondary criticism (at least 4 credible sources) been used to support the arguments and does the research paper show an understanding of the relevant critical theory regards the gothic that is being called upon?
  4. Has care been taken with presentation, grammar, expression and spelling (i.e., has the essay been carefully edited)?
  5. Have all sources been properly acknowledged both in-text and in the reference list using the Harvard Author-date system (i.e., ideas, paraphrases as well as quotations)?
Referencing Style Harvard (author-date)
Submission Online

Online submission through Moodle.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Discuss the Western Gothic as it has manifested itself across a range of cultural texts including film and literature from its inception in the eighteenth century up to the present.

2. Discuss the Gothic's transgressive mode, particularly the way in which this problematises questions of gender and sexuality.

3. Demonstrate further development of your analytical and written communication skills.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

5. Team Work

6. Information Technology Competence

7. Cross Cultural Competence

8. Ethical practice



3 Written Assessment

Assessment Title Analytical Essay
Task Description

Analytical Essay - 2000-2500 words - 50 marks

Write an analytical essay on one (1) of the following topics:

Select at least two substantial journal articles; one from 1960 - 1985 and one from 1986 - 2016. Analyse these critical articles closely with reference to their constructions of the Gothic. Analyse how the construction of the Gothic discussed in the critical article/s may affect the reading of one of the set sets for the unit. (Note: set texts, novels, or journal articles already used in a previous assessment item cannot be used.)

OR

The concept of the 'uncanny' eliminates the presence of a cohesive narrative and textual reality because meaning only exists on the fringes of something seemingly ordinary and recognisible, ready to be unravelled. Select any one of the unit's written texts and compare/contrast it with a film version of the same text. Identify and discuss the uncanny and its ability to distort a unified narrative and textual reality. What aspects of the uncanny are privileged in the film version and what aspects of the written text are marginalised? What are the reasons for this? How does it change the story? (Note: set texts, novels, or journal articles already used in a previous assessment item cannot be used.)

OR

Explore some of the ways in which the Gothic has violated the boundaries of literature to permeate both ‘high’ and popular culture. You might consider art, theatre, opera, ballet, and/or popular music, contemporary sub-cultures and/or Gothic social media sites [e.g., Gothwire, GoneGoth, Gothers, among others), print and online media (e.g., newspapers, magazines, fanzines, etc.), game culture (e.g., gaming and video-games). What aspects of the Gothic are appropriated by these cultural forms and for what ideological purposes? What aspects of the Gothic are rejected and for what ends?

OR

To what extent do Gothic narratives offer possibilities for revealing repressed aspects within society (e.g., sexual identity, political beliefs, 'hidden histories', religious prohibitions, miscegenation, incest, disease, and/or gender suppression, etc.) . How do these repressed aspects ('taboos') exhibit themselves?

OR

Write a short story in the Gothic genre and accompany it with a brief justification essay of the specific elements of the Gothic your story incorporates. If you choose this option your story should be approximately 1800 words and your justification essay in the region of 700 words.


More details on the preparation of this assignment may be found on the Moodle website.

Assessment Due Date Week 12 Friday (06-Oct-2017) 06:00 PM AEST
Assignment is to be submitted to Moodle by or before the due date
Return Date to Students Assignments will usually be returned as soon as possible after unit conclusion
Weighting 50%
Assessment Criteria

The following assessment criteria will be used for this assessment task:

  1. Does your essay have a clearly articulated thesis (point of view) that can be considered as a research topic critically examining the specific concern relating to the chosen novel/author/text and its critical and theoretical location/s regards the gothic that the question/s raised?
  2. Have key terms been clearly defined in a scholarly manner and is the central thesis of the research paper supported with clear arguments supported by relevant evidence from the text(s)?
  3. Has secondary criticism (at least 6 credible sources) been used to support the arguments and does the research paper show an understanding of the relevant critical theory regards the gothic that is being called upon?
  4. Has care been taken with presentation, grammar, expression and spelling (i.e., has the essay been carefully edited)?
  5. Have all sources been properly acknowledged both in-text and in the reference list using the Harvard Author-date system (i.e., ideas, paraphrases as well as quotations)?
Referencing Style Harvard (author-date)
Submission Online

Online submission through Moodle.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Discuss the Western Gothic as it has manifested itself across a range of cultural texts including film and literature from its inception in the eighteenth century up to the present.

2. Discuss the Gothic's transgressive mode, particularly the way in which this problematises questions of gender and sexuality.

3. Demonstrate further development of your analytical and written communication skills.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Communication

2. Problem Solving

3. Critical Thinking

4. Information Literacy

6. Information Technology Competence

7. Cross Cultural Competence

8. Ethical practice




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