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ENGL241 Irish-Scots Gothic and the Gothic as Genre

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Vampires, ghosts, and haunted homes: a study of the Gothic with particular reference to Irish-Scots Gothic.

The Gothic, with its panoply of ghosts, skeletons, vampires, revenants, and ruined castles, has held an enduring fascination for Irish and Scottish writers, a number of whom have made a significant contribution to the genre.

This paper will examine three foundational Gothic novels (by Horace Walpole, William Beckford and Mary Shelley) before exploring a selection of Scottish and Irish texts from the early 19th century to the present, paying close attention to questions of political and national context.

Authors studied include: Robert Burns, James Hogg, Sheridan Le Fanu, Bram Stoker, Robert Louis Stevenson, Oscar Wilde, and a changing selection of more recent work. 

Paper title Irish-Scots Gothic and the Gothic as Genre
Paper code ENGL241
Subject English
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $913.95
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,073.40

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54 100-level points
ENGL 341
Schedule C
Arts and Music

Teaching staff

Paper Coordinator: Dr Grace Moore

Lecturers: Associate Professor Thomas McLean, Dr Grace Moore

Paper Structure
The paper follows a chronological structure.
  • Three Gothic Novels (Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto; William Beckford, Vathek; Mary Shelley, Frankenstein) (Penguin)
  • James Hogg, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (Penguin)
  • Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Penguin)
  • Bram Stoker, Dracula
  • Sheridan Le Fanu, Carmilla

Additional material to be confirmed

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

By the end of the paper students should have a sound knowledge of the key generic, technical and thematic features of Gothic writing as represented by the works on the syllabus.

Students who successfully complete this paper will

  • Understand the historical trajectory of the Gothic as a genre
  • Be able to interpret works of Gothic literature in relation to their literary and historical contexts
  • Be able to articulate their views cogently both in discussion and in writing.

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 13:00-13:50 9-13, 15-22
Thursday 13:00-13:50 9-13, 15-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Wednesday 13:00-13:50 12-13, 15-21
A2 Wednesday 15:00-15:50 12-13, 15-21