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ENGLISH 5EA: WISE: Haunted Reading: Intertextuality, Adaptation, and the Gothic

What makes a narrative "Gothic"? One defining feature is the way the past seeps into the present, whether as ghosts, crumbling castles, or even old letters left behind for future readers. Across centuries, we see these tropes again and again, reimagined so that each new story is different but, at the same time, seems to remember and respond to the Gothic stories that came before it. This course will explore the relationships that Gothic texts have to each other. What can Frankenstein, with its multiple narrators, show us about how narratives pass from person to person? How does the contemporary bestseller Mexican Gothic address the colonial histories beneath older Romantic and Victorian narratives? And why might one turn a ghost story by Henry James from the end of the 19th century into a 21st-century Netflix series? In all of these cases, the Gothic effects of "haunted reading" allow the past's hidden ghosts and monstrous meanings to emerge, visibly changed and seeking attention. As w more »
What makes a narrative "Gothic"? One defining feature is the way the past seeps into the present, whether as ghosts, crumbling castles, or even old letters left behind for future readers. Across centuries, we see these tropes again and again, reimagined so that each new story is different but, at the same time, seems to remember and respond to the Gothic stories that came before it. This course will explore the relationships that Gothic texts have to each other. What can Frankenstein, with its multiple narrators, show us about how narratives pass from person to person? How does the contemporary bestseller Mexican Gothic address the colonial histories beneath older Romantic and Victorian narratives? And why might one turn a ghost story by Henry James from the end of the 19th century into a 21st-century Netflix series? In all of these cases, the Gothic effects of "haunted reading" allow the past's hidden ghosts and monstrous meanings to emerge, visibly changed and seeking attention. As we consider how old reading can influence or even "haunt" the new, we will reflect on our own reading habits in both personal and academic contexts while simultaneously investigating how intertextuality and adaptation relate to our own critical writing and original interpretations. (Note: This Writing-Intensive Seminar in English (WISE) course fulfills WIM for English majors. Non-majors are welcome, space permitting. For enrollment permission contact judithr@stanford.edu.)
Terms: Win | Units: 5
Instructors: Monaco, J. (PI)
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