Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Gothic Imagination
Academic Year
Semester 1
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
Reading List

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Lexicon containing 25 subject-specific terms  1500 Words  40%
Semester Assessment Essay, plus bibliography and captioned figures  2000 Words  60%
Supplementary Assessment Lexicon containing 25 subject-specific terms  1500 Words  40%
Supplementary Assessment Essay, plus bibliography and captioned figures  2000 Words  60%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Identify key artists and themes associated with the Gothic or working in a gothic mode.

2. Understand the historical contexts in which modally gothic art was produced and the philosophical concepts associated with such works.

3. Provide meaningful definitions of the term ‘Gothic’ when applied to medieval and Romantic art.

4. Debate the usefulness of the term ‘gothic’ and related terms when applied to modern/postmodern and contemporary art and visual culture.​​

Brief description

From the gargoyles of medieval cathedrals to the ghoulish chic of Goth couture, from the ‘venerable barbarism’ of Strawberry Hill to the nightmarish Gotham of graphic novels, from the first illustrations for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to the latest episode of American Horror Story, the genre crossing and media transcending Gothic has proven an undying presence in Western visual culture.

Gothic Imagination is an interdisciplinary theory that examines this dark current in visual culture as well as Western philosophy and relates it to historical events, postmodern anxieties and present-day concerns about war and revolution, human rights and religious freedom, disease and genetic engineering, ecology and apocalypse.

Considered alongside painters, printmakers, photographers, sculptors and installation artists are creators of other forms of material culture who work in media including film, television, and video games as well as fashion design and architecture.


1) Gothic Associations (Lecture 1)
2) Heritage, Heresy and the Canon (follow-up seminar to Lecture 1)

3) Gothic Identities (Lecture 2)
4) Politics, Terror and the Other (follow-up seminar to Lecture 2)

5) Gothic Bodies (Lecture 3)
6) Science, Creation and the Monstrous (follow-up seminar to Lecture 3)

7) Gothic Landscapes (Lecture 4)
8) Nature, Catastrophe and the Sublime (follow-up seminar to Lecture 4)

9) Gothic Visions (Lecture 5)
10) Civilisation, Ruin and the Haunted (follow-up seminar to Lecture 5)

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Articulating ideas in seminar discussions and academic writing.
Improving own Learning and Performance Independent study through seminar assignment research and preparation.
Information Technology Information retrieval from various academic research portals and online museum collection databases.
Personal Development and Career planning Emphasis on professionalism in presentation of research.
Problem solving In seminar preparation and discussion, essay research and writing.
Research skills In seminar preparation, bibliography and essay research and writing.
Subject Specific Skills In development of subject-specific vocabulary (lexicon).


This module is at CQFW Level 5