Emerging in the 18th century, Gothic fiction responded to a need for a British national mythology distinct from classical antiquity. It offered sublime visions of halcyon days, but specters also lurked within its ancient castles and convents - standing for a set of anxieties about hidden decay that lurks in that past, and whose mark might still be felt in the present.
In the Victorian age, the Gothic was transplanted into modern urban space, its ghosts changing into fears of criminality, foreignness, and degeneration that might be hiding behind civilized veneers as metropolises such as London allowed for new mobility and mixing between classes, races, and nationalities.
Focusing on four classics of the fin-de-siècle - The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dracula, and The Hound of the Baskervilles - this class will examine how the Gothic functions as a metaphor to capture intense anxieties about past and present at the heart of a powerful empire.
Anastasia Klimchynskaya is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago, where she works at the intersection of technoscience, literary narrative, and the cultural imagination to examine how our fictions shape our technologies and our ideas about them, with a particular focus on science fiction.
- Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Oxford, 2008. ISBN: 978-0199536221
- Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray. Penguin, 2003. ISBN: 978-0141439570
- Bram Stoker, Dracula. Oxford, 2011. ISBN: 978-0199564095
- Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles. Penguin, 2001. ISBN: 978-0140437867
- Please read the entirety of Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Cost and Registration
This class is full, but you can still register for the waitlist on Learning Stream.
Six sessions, $235 ($210 for Newberry members, seniors, and students). Learn about becoming a member.
To register multiple people for this class, please go through the course calendar in Learning Stream, our registration platform. When you select the course and register, you’ll be prompted to add another registrant.Register for Waitlist