I registered for my courses…

for the year.  This term, to no one’s surprise, I’ll be taking a course on Spenser’s The Faerie Queen.  (This time around I promise to gravely reflect upon Sir Guyon’s many follies — “lost horse” will probably continue to head the list.)

Somewhat more surprising is my willing enrollment in a course titled “Gothic, Sensation and Victorian Discourses of Body.” Well, the program does ask its students to choose courses outside of our research field, and the Victorian/Gothic are among those few areas I  avoided during my undergrad (in literature, at least; I did take that course in nineteenth-century art history).

The theory part of the course looks fun: Freud and Kristeva make the list, and  Elizabeth Grosz (and Butler makes it into the introductory paragraph — I’m well prepared for the theoretical part of this course).  More daunting, in terms of reading load at least, is the primary text list: Collins’s The Woman in White (700 pages or so), Bradden’s Lady Audley’s Secret (500 pages), Marsh’s The Beetle (36o pages), as well as some shorter works: Eliot’s The Lifted Veil, Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, LeFanu’s Carmilla, Marsh’s The Beetle, and Oyeyemi’s  The Icarus Girl. (In sum, it’s a novel course, with a novel course’s-worth of reading.  That I requested a Gothic novel course worries me more than the reading load itself, I think.)

The courses are on consecutive days, so I’ll be moving from reading/discussing holiness, temperance, civic duty and nation building (and mages who are strangely and persistently opposed to these things) on Wednesdays to Thursday seminars on grotesque, monstrous bodies, vampires, ghosts and incest.

Actually, I suspect there won’t be much difference between the two.

22 August 2009 ~ St. Catharines

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