The English Ghost Story: A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre



Zeit/Ort n.V.:

  • Mi 10:15-11:45, Raum C 301

Voraussetzungen / Organisatorisches

- BA English and American Studies: Hauptmodul A (301) Literature/Culture (Zulassungsvoraussetzung: Zwischenmodul II) – HA
- Lehramt Englisch an Gymnasien: Hauptmodul L-GYM Literature. (Zulassungsvoraussetzung: Zwischenmodul Literature) – HA (80 %)
- MA English Studies: Core Module: Literature (module 4051, exam 40511: Written assignment (15 pages, 80%) and handout (2–3 pages, 20%))
- MA English Studies: Master Module II: Literature (module 8360, exam 83601: Written assignment (15 pages, 80%) and handout (2–3pages, 20%))
- MA Literaturstudien – intermedial und interkulturell: Modul 4

Students are required to attend a weekly seminar and to write a short essay (3,000-4,000 words) on a theoretical topic of their chocie agreed with the course director


This is a simple but demanding course. Sinple because we shall only be reading a few -- 10 or 12 -- short texts from The Oxford book of English ghost stories (and you should buy a cheap second-hand copy on the internet before we start). Demanding because it is all about literary theory of the hard-core structuralist kind! You will find this hard at first, then a bit easier as we go along, and you will feel you have discovered something very interesting by the end of the course. We start from the basic hypothesis that all ghost-stories are motivated by a single simple core-formula: [L s D] (a living person sees a dead person). Of course, it is more complex than that, and we shall read a number of stories from the anthology to tease out these complications. So the seminars will be exercises in the structural analysis of texts -- but there will be time, I hope, to discuss the spooky side of ghost-stories as well.

Empfohlene Literatur

- Michael Cox & R. A. Gilbert (eds). |The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories|. Oxford: Oxford University Press, paperback 1989 (ISBN 0192826662).