The given subject is an integral part of the American Studies disciplinary MA program. Gothic literature is crucial a part of the literary genres that emerged in the literature of the USA in the 19th century. Gaining insight into this type of literature – which is part of the Romantic movement - does not only deepen and facilitate the understanding of its various forms in contemporary written and visual representations but contributes to a closer look at the social and cultural context of the post-revolutionary era.

The purpose of the course is to enable students to explore and analyze the milestones of American gothic literature with a special focus on its main representatives in the 19th century, Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne. This course, however, does not restrict itself to these two writers but includes the so-called female gothic in the first half of the 20th with special regard to the works of Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Shirley Jackson. The literary works in question will shed light on the development of the textual representation of unconscious fears, desires, psychological horror, gender issues and inhibitions along with the cultural aspects they reflect on.