The main aim of this module is to examine how far the tradition of Gothic writing has been adapted to suit the concerns of contemporary America – and why it has proven so popular. The central thematic issue will be the function of the Gothic in the construction of American identity and representation of ethnicity, gender and youth.

The module establishes itself in the nineteenth century literary tradition of Edgar Allen Poe and Washington Irving before moving to discuss contemporary manifestations of the Gothic form such as the contemporary short story, films such Sleepy Hollow and Wolf and TV programmes such as Bewitched and Buffy The Vampire Slayer.