Aside from my two freshmen seminars next semester (Fall 2007), I will be teaching one upper-division seminar. This course will be online, thanks to the success of my online seminar this semester. I will post the list of texts once I've made my final decisions. I'm excited about it:
The Gothic literary tradition began in the mid-eighteenth century in Europe and lives on in various forms across the globe through contemporary fiction, poetry, art, music, film, and television. Mad scientists, blasted heaths, abandoned ruins, elusive ghosts, charming vampires, and even little green men people its stories. With ingredients such as a highly developed sense of atmosphere, extreme emotions including fear and awe, and emphases on the mysterious and the paranormal, Gothic works tend to express anxieties about social, political, religious, and economic issues of the time, as well as rejection of prevailing modes of thought and behavior. Using classic texts and the latest multimedia sources, this course will investigate the fascinating and subversive Gothic imagination (from the haunted castles of Horace Walpole to the threatening aliens of H.P. Lovecraft, from Frankenstein to The X-Files), identify the historical conditions that have inspired it, consider how it has developed across time and place and medium, and explore how it has left its indelible imprint on the modern genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror.
* The Locus Index to Science Fiction Awards is now updated with all awards results through the end of 2006, as well as 2007 nomination lists so far announced.
* And R.I.P. to two science fiction authors:
-- Charles L. Fontenay (1917-January 27, 2007), author of three dozen stories in the 1950s, three novels from 1958 to 1964 including The Day the Oceans Overflowed, and numerous children's books after his retirement in 1978, one of which won a special Golden Duck Award (for its strong female character) in 1998.
-- Lee Hoffman (1932-February 6, 2007), publisher of SF fanzines Quandry and Science-Fiction Five-Yearly beginning in the early '50s, and four SF novels from 1967 to 1972, including The Caves of Karst. He was best known for numerous Western novels, including Spur Award-winner The Valdez Horses (1967), which was made into a film starring Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland.
...at times I almost dream
I, too, have spent a life the sages' way,
And tread once more familiar paths. Perchance
I perished in an arrogant self-reliance
Ages ago; and in that act, a prayer
For one more chance went up so earnest, so
Instinct with better light let in by death,
That life was blotted out-not so completely
But scattered wrecks enough of it remain,
Dim memories, as now, when once more seems
The goal in sight again...
from "Paracelsus" by Robert Browning, quoted in "The Field Where I Died" (The X-Files)