New: American Gothic
Why is so much American fiction so dark? Why so many witches, so many disturbed souls, so much fear at the heart of everyday life? Well explore some of the writing loosely known as American Gothic, and find out some of the determining factors behind all the fascinating grimness, madness and extravagance. Some of the works well study: The supernatural stories of Edgar Allan Poe (eg The Premature Burial, Ligeia, The Tell Tale Heart), Nathaniel Hawthornes tales of witches and hysteria in Puritan New England eg Young Goodman Browne), Herman Melvilles mysterious Bartleby and Benito Cereno, Ambrose Bierces grim tales of war and terror (Chickamauga, A Tough Tussle, One of the Missing ), Charlotte Perkins Gilmans psychological horror tale, The Yellow Wallpaper and Carson McCullerss bizarre love story The Ballad of the Sad Café.
Who is this course for
The course is open to anyone with an interest in literature. No previous knowledge of the topic is required.
What does this course cover
We'll be covering a wide range of American fiction, focusing on the darker , more pessimistic side of American writing. Some of the works we'll study: the supernatural stories of Edgar Allan Poe (eg The Premature Burial, Ligeia, The Tell Tale Heart), Nathaniel Hawthorne's tales of witches and hysteria in Puritan New England (eg Young Goodman Browne), Herman Melville's mysterious Bartleby and Benito Cereno , Ambrose Bierce's grim tales of war and terror (Chickamauga, A Tough Tussle, One of the Missing ), Charlotte Perkins Gilman's psychological horror tale The Yellow Wallpaper and Carson McCullers's bizarre love story The Ballad of the Sad Café.
At the end of the course you should be able to
- Recognise recurring themes in modern American writing
- Relate these to the wider world of American culture
- Feel confident enough to explore further study of related fiction on your own
Half Term: Friday 01 June 2018
What will it be like
The course is an interactive mixture of tutor exposition and class discussion. Videos and clips will also be shown and discussed.
We will assess your expectations of the course in the first sessions. Thereafter, you will be able to monitor your progress on the course through participation in class discussion, questions and answers and in-class exercises. At the end of the course, you will be able to measure your progress against the stated outcomes for the course.
What else do you need to buy or do
Many of the texts are available online, but it will be necessary to buy or borrow some texts. Most can be bought cheaply, often second-hand, from bookselling websites
An extensive range of wider reading and links to other resources will also be provided through the Moodle website for the course.
Apart from the reading material, you should bring with pens, notepaper and file in which to store handouts and other course materials.
What this course could lead to
- A real appreciation of recurrent themes in modern American culture, in fiction and beyond - in cinema, music, theatre
- Further study of literature
I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.MWC student
Got a Question about this Course?
Contact The Departmental Administrator.
Why come to Mary Ward Centre?
Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.
Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’