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Student Examples and Homework for 11/23

Hi Students,

Great job with the first few pages of The Haunting of Hill House (HHH).

  • Schedule for Gothic Spaces Presentation:December 7–¬†Fatma, Yarlin, Rachel, Jamela, Salim, IsaacDecember 9–Jessica, Manuel, Victoria, Shemar, Joel, Kwame

1–I’m so sorry that I forgot to do the Weekly Goth! I can’t believe it especially since it has been so fun and frightening. So, we will begin on Monday with the last two.

2–Haunting and Haunted House Ideas… we have not discussed these concepts as much as we should. I think the Wikipedia page for Haunted House is actually quite good, so we will use that as class information. Here’s the link:


For our purposes, the first six sections of this long article are useful.

3–Here are the chapters and page numbers for HHH:

  • C1¬†¬† 1-14
  • C2¬†¬† 14-25
  • C3¬†¬† 25-43
  • C4¬†¬† 43-64
  • C5¬†¬† 64-78
  • C6¬†¬† 78-85
  • C7¬†¬† 85-99
  • C8¬†¬† 99-110
  • C9¬†¬† 110-119


*Read the article on Queer Theory in Readings (Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory). Pay particular attention to the first paragraph.

*Then read up to page 64 in HHH (finish chapter 4), and answer these questions in your notebook:

1–Who are Mr. and Mrs. Dudley? Describe them.

2–What do Eleanor and Theodora do together after finding their adjoining rooms?

3–What is the history of Hill House (briefly)?

4–Does anything happen during their first night at Hill House?

5–What observation about the design of the house does Dr. Montague make after breakfast?

6–What happens on the second night?




Two Student Examples of Gothic Spaces Images and Captions:

Paul’s Gothic Space

Old Gravesend Cemetery (circa 1905) Credit to Joseph Ditta and gravesendgazette.com

Old Gravesend Cemetery

A Bit of History

Proximity to my Old House


More History


Kelvin’s Gothic Space


Homework for Wednesday, Nov 18

Hi Class,

Thanks for the gothic and architectural uncanny images and paragraphs! Make sure to post them if you haven’t already.

For Wednesday, let’s read up to the middle of page 11 (up to chapter 5) in The Haunting of Hill House.


Here is a link to that page displaying future skyscraper in NYC:

List: Skyscrapers Under Construction or Planned in New York


The Architectural Uncanny:

According to Anthony Vidler, the Architectural Uncanny is represented by a feeling of anxiety in which there is a slippage and lack of clarity between what is homely and what is unhomely. The architectural uncanny reflects modern qualities of individual and social estrangement, alienation, exile, danger, and homelessness. The very places in which we should be calm and confident (at home), we instead find ourselves unsure as to our identity, a feeling that Vidler believes emanates from fragmented, mirrored, reflecting, and transparent surfaces that we see and move through‚ÄĒand live within. ¬†(Image from John Wick Chapter 3):




Prof. Scanlan

Homework for Monday, Nov 16

Hi Class,

Again, great job with the Weekly Goth! Looking forward to next week’s examples.

For Monday, I want students to take/find two photo examples–one of Gothic architecture and one of¬† Vidler’s Uncanny. Post the two photos and brief explanations of where and what the photo depicts. Point out a few characteristics that make the structure gothic or uncanny. The explanations can be short, less than 100 words. See my example in the Gothic Architecture category.

**Optional: I’ve posted a longish introduction to the history of the gothic by Nick Groom. These pages attempt to fuse the history of Germanic tribes to the reformation to British nationalism to art and culture. See Readings.


Prof. Scanlan

Quiz 2 and Homework for Monday, Nov 9

Hi Class,

Great job with the Weekly Goth! And thanks for working hard to wrestle with Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher.” I think that Quiz 2 (on the right sidebar) will be fairly easy after today’s class, that is…if you took notes. Be sure to proofread your work before submitting.


Here are three terms that are relevant:


  1. Experiencing sensation, thought, or feeling.
  2. Able to consciously perceive through the use of sense
  3. Possessing human-like awareness and intelligence.


  1. (pathology) severe bodily condition, described in psychiatric pathology, marked by sudden rigidity, fixation of posture, and loss of contact with environmental conditions

**I have long detested the word CREEPY! Why is that? Because it is overused to fill in for anything and everything related to the gothic. Please use this word with specificity, not as a general term.

creepy (use this term only if something is crawling/creeping, or crawling over one’s skin, or repulsive in a strange way!! I Don’t like #3, but I guess I can’t wish it away.

  1. Moving by creeping along.
  2. (informal)Producing an¬†uneasy¬†fearful¬†sensation, as of things¬†crawling¬†over one’s¬†skin.
  3. (informal)Feeling an uneasy fearful sensation; creeped out.
  4. (informal)Strangely repulsive.



Read Blade #1 and #2 (in Readings) and select your favorite panel/frame/page. Come prepared to explain to the class why it is your favorite. Make sure to establish context so that we understand its importance/relevance.



Prof. Scanlan

Homework for Wednesday, Nov 4

Hi Class,

I was quite impressed by the first two Weekly Goth posts! Good job Kwame and Yarlin! Let’s keep that sort of quality and insight going.

For Wednesday:

1–Please review both versions of “House of Usher.” Then, in your notes, list ten plots points in chronological order. What are the key differences between the versions? What is your favorite scene in the text version? In the graphic version?

2–in your notes, write down the definition of Sentience. Then closely read the long paragraph after the ballad “The Haunted Palace” where this concept is mentioned three times. What does sentience have to do with Roderick’s illness, the house itself, and, perhaps, with the death of Madeline?

****I’m going to hold off on the Blade graphic novel until after Wednesday.


Prof. Scanlan

Little shop of horrors

A favorite of mine is a movie called Little Shop of horrors there are about 3 different renditions of the movie but

I chose the 1980s version while it seems light-hearted because its a musical it is very disturbing. The story starts off with a man named Seymour who works in a plant shop one day he receives an odd-looking flytrap over time it speaks to him asking for nourishment which starts off with his own blood but convinces him to murder civilians in the neighborhood for more. I think this encases the spirit of perverseness as he willingly does so for his own benefit as the plant becomes a major attraction to the shop and impresses his love interest.

Homework for Monday, Nov 2

Hi Class,

Great job talking about Gorey!

For homework:

1–Review the Gothic Homesickness handout and review Wilson‚Äôs “How to Read …” website

2–Homework: Read Poe‚Äôs “Fall of the House of Usher,” then read the graphic novel version by Manning and Jimenz. In your notes, explore how gothic homesickness works.

3–Weekly Goth: Short in-class presentation. (video and voice recommended) The presentation should explain to the class what the example is and why it is gothic. It may help to use the example to explain one of our technical gothic terms. Students should post a brief explanation(100-150 words) of the object under review. Check out a good example:¬† Katsuyo Aoki’s skull sculpture on the Weekly Goth tab. This assignment will be part of the participation grade. Here is the schedule:

Nov 2: Kwame and Yarlin

Nov 4: Jamela and Joel

Nov 9: Manuel and Rachel

Nov 11: Isaac and Shemar

Nov 16: Fatma and Salim

Nov 18: Jessica and Victoria


On the horizon: we will have quiz 2 next Wednesday.


Prof. Scanlan

Hi Class,


**I’ve only received 7 Final Drafts of the Midterm Essay. If you have not already done so, please post your final draft today!


For Wednesday:


1–Read “The Iron Tonic” graphic story and answer these two questions: What examples of the sublime are noticeable in this story? Second, how many gothic elements (there are 4) can you find in this story?


2–Review ideas for The Sublime:

The Sublime:

The sublime is the feeling that arises from something awe-inspiring, breath-taking, unique, incomparable, beyond words. The sublime can also be the object, concept, quality, or experience that launches such feelings. As several seventeenth- and eighteenth-century travelers noted, the Alps are¬†sublime¬†in this sense because nothing at ground level prepares one for the view from their austere peaks, where earth and sky seem to meet (e.g., Caspar David Friedrich‚Äôs famous painting,¬†Wanderer above the Sea of Fog‚ÄĒSEE BELOW¬†(1817). Western aesthetics has been interested in the concept of the¬†sublime¬†since at least the first century, when the Greek scholar Longinus wrote his treatise¬†On the¬†Sublime.¬†But it was not until the publication of Edmund Burke‚Äôs¬†A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the¬†Sublime¬†and Beautiful¬†(1756) that it became a topic of philosophical interest. Burke‚Äôs opposition between beauty as that which is well-formed and pleasing and¬†sublime¬†as that which is ugly, fearful and desirable all at once continues to inform thinking on this subject still. A particularly useful quote from Burke is: Sublimity may evoke horror, but knowledge that the perception is a fiction is pleasureful.‚ÄĚ In effect, Burke‚Äôs distinction is between that which we perceive with simple¬†pleasure¬†(the beautiful) and that which truly moves us (sublime). German philosopher,¬†Immanuel Kant¬†adopts Burke‚Äôs opposition and uses it to discuss the limits of the imagination and the senses in contrast to the power of reason‚ÄĒfor him, sublime is exalted and great.

Below: The Hahnen is a mountain of the Urner Alps, overlooking Engelberg in the Swiss canton of Obwalden. It has an elevation of 2,606 metres above sea level. (from Wikipedia article on The Sublime)

Hahnen, Swiss mountain

Homework for Monday, October 26

Hi Class,

Great questions today. I hope that each of you was able to benefit from all the questions/answers

Homework for Monday:

1–Finish revising, editing, and proofreading the Midterm Essay. Post your essay (full name and course number) to the new menu category titled “Midterm Essay” by class time on Monday.

2–I’ve posted the Terror/Horror handout and the Paragraphs/Sentences handout on the Readings menu tab.

3–We will discuss “The Enormous Radio” and “The Veldt” on Monday (I promise!).


Email any questions.


Prof. Scanlan

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