Contemporary American Horror

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Module code


  • Level 1 – 10 credit module
  • Semester 2
  • 24 places
  • English - School of Humanities
  • Coursework 100%


Hope Roulstone


  • Close reading essay (1,000 words)
  • Critical essay (15,000 words)

Module Aims

  • To provide students with the key skills required to undertake an undergraduate degree in the Humanities
  • To increase students’ knowledge of Gothic writing by American authors from 1945 to present
  • To consider the works of various American writers in their literary and cultural contexts
  • To explore what is meant by the term 'Gothic' and ‘Horror’ how they can be defined from a largely American understanding
  • To examine how American Gothic has evolved and how social and cultural concerns can be explored through Gothic and Horror fiction

Intended learning outcomes

  • Students should be able to develop the critical thinking and writing skills to prepare them for further study at undergraduate level
  • Students should show an ability to engage critically with a representative range of writing from the eighteenth to twenty-first centuries
  • Students should indicate an understanding of some of the central aesthetics and themes of Gothic and Horror fiction
  • Students should demonstrate some knowledge of critical developments that have influenced the interpretation of American Gothic and Horror fiction
  • Students should develop some understanding of the cultural contexts which shaped American Gothic and Horror fiction from several periods