Stephen King's Fiction

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Module code


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


Conner McAleese


  • Presentation (15%)
  • Critical essay (1,000 words) (35%)
  • Critical essay (2,000 words) (50%)


Indicative Reading

  • Carrie (1974)
  • The Shining (1977)
  • The Dead Zone (1979)
  • '1922' (in Full Dark, No Stars) (2010)
  • Christine (1983)
  • Pet Sematary (1986)
  • 'Summer Thunder' (in Bazaar Of Bad Dreams) (2015)
  • Misery (1987)
  • If It Bleeds (2020)

Module Aims

  • To provide students with the key skills required to undertake an undergraduate degree in the Humanities
  • To increase students’ knowledge of Stephen King’s writing between 1970-1990
  • To consider the work of Stephen King in his literary and cultural context
  • To explore what is meant by the terms 'Gothic' and ‘Horror’ and how they can be defined from a largely American understanding
  • To be able to critically assess Stephen King’s work

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 the twenty-first centuries.
  • Students should indicate an understanding of some of the central aesthetics and themes of Stephen King’s fiction.
  • Students should demonstrate some knowledge of critical developments that have influenced the interpretation of Stephen King’s fiction.
  • Students should develop some understanding of the cultural contexts which shaped Stephen King’s fiction
  • Students should demonstrate an ability to use relevant critical and digital resources in preparing written work