American Gothic

Graduate Elective
American Gothic
University of Zagreb
Spring 2012,
8th and 10th semester
Prof. Charles L. Crow

Thursday 2:00-2:45, A-123
Friday 11:00-12:30, A-105

“Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.”
The Shadow — old time radio show

Course requirements: regular attendance and participation in discussion. A paper of about 12 pages, written as a conference paper. Final examination.
Note 1: The syllabus below may be modified as the pace and needs of the class indicate.
Note 2: Most readings can be found on-line. In a few cases I will provide texts that may be duplicated.

Week 1: 8-9 March.
Introduction to the Gothic.
Cotton Mather, Trials of Martha Carrier and G. B., “A Notable Exploit; Wherein, Dux FaeminaFacti” [The Narrative of Hannah Dustan].
Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Alice Doan’s Appeal”

Week 2: 15-16 March
“Abraham Panther,” “A Surprising Account of the Discovery of a Lady “
J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur, from Letters from an American Farmer, Letter IX
Charles Brockden Brown, “Somnambulism”
John Neal, “Idiosyncrasies”
Washington Irving, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”

Week 3: 22-23 March
The Dark Romantics I
Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Young Goodman Brown”
Herman Melville, “Hawthorne and His Mosses,” “The Bell Tower,” BenitoCereno.

Week 4: 29-30 March
The Dark Romantics II (Poe Festival)
“Hop-Frog,” “The Cask of Amontillado,””The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Raven,” “The City in the Sea,” “Ulalume,” “Annabel Lee,” “Dream-Land.”

Week 5: 5-6 April
Retrospective New England Gothic
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “The Skeleton in Armor.”
Harriet Prescott Spofford, “Circumstance.”

(April 6 is Good Friday)

Week 6: 12-13 April
Gothic Women I
Louisa May Alcott, “A Whisper in the Dark”
Emily Dickinson, “Through lane it lay – through bramble,” “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,””‘Tis so appalling – it exhilarates”, “The Soul Has Bandaged Moments,
“”One need not be a Chamber – to be Haunted,” “‘Twas like a Maelstrom, with a notch,””If I may have it, when it’s dead,” “What mystery pervades a well!”

Week 7: 19-20 April
Gothic of Race
Folk tale, “Talking Bones”
Charles Chesnutt, “The Sheriff’s Children,” “The Dumb Witness,” “The Marked Tree.”
Paul Laurence Dunbar, “The Lynching of Jube Benson”
Alice Dunbar Nelson, “Sister Josepha”
Grace King, “The Little Convent Girl”

Week 8: 26-27 April
Some haunted houses:
Madeline Yale Wynne, “The Little Room”
Elia Wilkinson Peattie, “The House that Was Not”
Henry James, The Turn of the Screw

Week 9: 3-4 May

Some weird tales:
Edith Wharton, “The Eyes”
Ambrose Bierce, “An Inhabitant of Carcosa,” “The Death of HalpinFrayser.”
Robert W. Chambers, “In the Court of the Dragon.”
H. P. Lovecraft, “The Stranger”

Week 10: 10-11 May.

Gothic of the village:
Stephen Crane, “The Monster”
Poems by E. A. Robinson,:””LukeHavergal”, “Lisette and Eileen,””The Dark House.” “The Mill,” “Souvenir,” “Why He Was There.”
Shirley Jackson, “The Lottery.”

Week 11: 17-18 May.

Gothic Women II
Kate Chopin, “Désireé’s Baby,”
Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, “Luella Miller,” “Old Woman Magoun”
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wall Paper”
William Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily’

Week 12: 24-25 May.Modern and contemporary works, chosen by the class.

Week 13: 31 May-1 June.Modern and contemporary works, chosen by the class.

Week 14: 8 June (June 7 is Corpus Christi day)

Discuss John Sayles’s film, Lone Star.