ENG32700 Dublin Gothic

Academic Year 2021/2022

This module invites students to investigate Irish urban gothic writing set in Dublin and London from the 1820s to the 1940s. Fears and anxieties about the urban environment in a range of literary texts will be discussed with reference to key issues, including urban planning, social hygiene, and architecture. This course will consider how such writers as James Clarence Mangan, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Oscar Wilde, and Elizabeth Bowen addressed and reflected these issues in both short-fiction and novels. Each writer under study is, notably, a native Dubliner, and this course will examine how the work of each is firmly rooted within the cities of either Dublin or London and reflects concerns of Irishness and national identity. In this course, the imaginary city will be examined as a type of palimpsest, as landmarks, streets and monuments, as well as the subsequent anxieties regarding the city space and the body, evolve to connect the city across time. This course will also explore key debates in Irish and Urban gothic criticism in order to contextualise and theorise historical depictions of the city.

Please note that this course entails a significant time commitment to offsite field trips at the Musuem of Literature Ireland (MoLI), and enrolled students are committed to attending a day-long seminar during the March Reading Week.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

-Demonstrate knowledge of Irish urban gothic writers and an understanding of how their work both reflects and interrogates key social, political and cultural contexts of the city
-Awareness of gothic motifs and the development of urban gothic writing
-Increased understanding of the key debates in Irish and urban gothic criticisms
-Ability to write critically about a range of Irish urban gothic texts
-Critical engagement with a range of Irish urban gothic texts through continuous assessment assignments

Indicative Module Content:

Class Schedule (subject to be modified):

Week 1: Introduction to Irish Urban Gothic Writing
Week 2: Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, In a Glass Darkly (1872) (selected stories)
Week 3: Charlotte Riddell, Weird Stories (1882) (selected stories), Bithia Mary Croker (selected stories)
Week 4-5: Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890)
Week 6-7: Bram Stoker, Dracula (1897)
READING WEEK: Field Trip - Visit MoLI for mandatory seminar (date TBA)
Week 8: Dubliners, James Joyce (1914)
Week 9: Dorothy Macardle, Earthbound (1924) (selected stories)
Week 10-11: Elizabeth Bowen: The Heat of the Day (1948)
Week 12: Final Class Overview

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Field Trip/External Visits




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This course primarily consists of seminars and class-based, student-led discussions in conjunc-tion to autonomous student learning and specified learning activities.

A key component of this course will also be an experiential learning field trips to the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) in which the students will engage with the museum and attend talks by the curatorial, digital and education/learning teams. Students will receive feedback from staff on their continuous assessment assignments, including blog posts and social media engagement (eg. TikTok, Twitter, Instagram), which will relate to the museum’s digital exhibition, Mapping Gothic Dublin: 1822-1900 (note: this exhibition is produced by Dr Mishler in collaboration with MoLI as an IRC Enterprise Partnership Postdoctoral Researcher).

Please note that students must be available to attend this day long seminar at MoLI during the two-week March reading week.
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Essay: 3000-3500 word final essay Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Continuous Assessment: various writing assignments to demonstrate engagement with the module including posts on social media and class blog Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities
• Self-assessment activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

The various continuous assessment activities throughout the semester will receive group feedback and also peer-reviewed feedback. These activities along with the seminar at MoLi over the March Reading Weeks will help you form a topic for your essay. Feeback will be given on the essay after grades are posted.

The following texts need to be purchased:

In a Glass Darkly: Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (1872)
Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891)
Bram Stoker, Dracula (1897)
James Joyce: Dubliners (1914)
Elizabeth Bowen: The Heat of the Day (1948)

All other texts will be provided on Brightspace.