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Module Code - Title:


Year Last Offered:


Hours Per Week:













Grading Type:


Prerequisite Modules:

Rationale and Purpose of the Module:

Haunted castles, resurrected bodies, murderous monks, blood-thirsty vampires, and preyed-upon heroines - these are some of the things we expect from a text advertising itself as 'Gothic'. But, what does 'Gothic' really mean? When did it emerge as a recognisable cultural phenomenon, and why? How did Irish authors contribute to this new popular literature? This module will address these questions, and, in so doing, provide an introduction to the emergence of a 'Gothic' aesthetic in Ireland, Britain, and Europe over the course of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This module replaces an older first semester module on the Irish literary Revival (now updated and included in a second year elective suite). This new module on the gothic is intended as a first year, first semester introduction to genre, in this instance, the genre of gothic. It aims to introduce students to the emergence and development of a recognisable gothic aesthetic in the literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. To achieve this aim, it will examine, among other things, contemporary definitions and reception of gothic literature; the Sublime; the formal and generic variations of the literary gothic; and twentieth- and twenty-first century perceptions of gothic literature from the period c. 1750-1830.


This module will introduce students to a chronological progression of texts intended to provide a detailed picture of the emergence of the literary gothic in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Ireland, Britain, and Europe.Assessing a mixture of poetry, prose, and drama, students will come to appreciate the multi-generic nature of the literary gothic as well as the social, cultural, and political contexts in which it was produced. Students will also explore and interrogate the burgeoning area of gothic literary studies, developing, as they do so, a nuanced understanding of both the literature we now describe as 'Gothic' and modern day critical assessments of such literature.

Learning Outcomes:

Cognitive (Knowledge, Understanding, Application, Analysis, Evaluation, Synthesis)

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to • Demonstrate a clear comprehension of the social, cultural, and political contexts in which the literary gothic emerged in Ireland, Britain, and Europe over the course of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries; • Analyse the texts under discussion in relation to the particular moments in which they were written, assessing the interactions of text and context and judging the impact of key historical events and developments on literary production; • Synthesise and critique modern critical assessments of gothic literature of this period, reflecting knowledgeably upon the different approaches to and understandings of the literary gothic in this period; • Engage critically with primary and secondary material in independently undertaken written and oral work that both analyses the evolution of gothic literature over the course of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and comments maturely on the gothic's engagement with its national and international contexts.

Affective (Attitudes and Values)

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to: Demonstrate a greater appreciation of Ireland's literary and cultural heritage; Relate that appreciation to contemporary concerns and cultural activity; Apply this cultural understanding in their beliefs and ethics Apply this cultural understanding in their dealings with students of all nationalities in the classroom.

Psychomotor (Physical Skills)


How the Module will be Taught and what will be the Learning Experiences of the Students:

This module is taught by a combination of lectures -- which will situate Gothic literature in its historical and generic contexts -- and tutorials which will facilitate close readings of individual texts and proactive discursive exchanges on issues of theme, form, and critical reception. Together, these lectures and tutorials will equip students with a deeper knowledge of Ireland's creative and artistic heritage. The module will be examined by essay and presentation work which will enhance students' literary, critical, and historical vocabulary.

Research Findings Incorporated in to the Syllabus (If Relevant):

Prime Texts:

Edmund Burke (2008) A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful , Oxford UP
Charles Robert Maturin (2001) Melmoth the Wanderer , Penguin
Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan) (2011) The Wild Irish Girl: a National Tale , Oxford UP

Other Relevant Texts:

Luke Gibbons (2004) Gaelic Gothic: race, Colonization, and Irish Culture , Arlen House
jarlath Killeen (2005) Gothic Ireland , Four Courts
Christina Morin (2011) Charles Robert Maturin and the Haunting of Irish Romantic Fiction , Manchester UP

Programme(s) in which this Module is Offered:

BAENHIUFA - English and History
BALLFIUFA - Languages, Literature and Film
BANMENUFA - New Media and English
BAINMEUFA - Irish and New Media
BAJOHOUFA - Joint Honours

Semester - Year to be First Offered:

Module Leader: