Category: gothic literature

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Charles Chesnutt and the Plantation Tradition

Last week, I wrote about race in two local stories by George Washington Cable and Kate Chopin. Over the next couple of posts, I want to look at the ways that authors such as Charles Chesnutt and Paul Laurence Dunbar work to counter the plantation tradition and specifically the continued perpetuation of an idealized South during the latter part of the nineteenth century and … Read More Charles Chesnutt and the Plantation Tradition

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Iceberg Slim’s “Lonely Suite” and the Gothic

Throughout Iceberg Slim’s literary career, he wrote to dissuade his readers away from the Life. As such, his stories of the urban ghettos of Chicago and the Midwest served as not just political critiques on an oppressive system but also as didactic narratives. Of course, some individuals misread these cues, as Slim himself writes about in “Rappin About the Pimp Game.” Today, I want … Read More Iceberg Slim’s “Lonely Suite” and the Gothic

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Tumblr, Blogger, and Wikis in the Literature Classroom

Over the past few months, I have posted different pedagogical approaches that I have implemented in the classroom from the elevator pitch in the composition classroom to the use of archival materials in the literature classroom. Today, I want to take the moment and expand upon a couple of projects that I have used in the literature classroom.

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“Theresa, A Haytian Tale” and the “Tropical Sublime”

Thirteen years before Victor Sejour’s “The Mulatto” (1841), S’s serialized story “Theresa, A Haytien Tale” (1828) appeared in the Freedom’s Journal between January 18 and February 15, 1828. Now, scholars believe that S’s ┬ástory is the first short story by an African American author; however, there may be something else tucked away in a library, archive, or collection somewhere in the world. Whether or … Read More “Theresa, A Haytian Tale” and the “Tropical Sublime”

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Archives and Collaborative Documents in the Literature Classroom

Last Tuesday, I wrote about some of the ways I have been implementing technology into my composition and literature classrooms. Today, I want to speak about a couple of more ways that I am incorporating the Internet and Web 2.0 tools into the literature classroom.

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Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Minister’s Black Veil” and Slavery

Upon reading Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Minster’s Black Veil” (1832), I began to think about the underlying cultural contexts surrounding the story’s initial publication. Namely, I started to think about it in relation to the issue of slavery and the abolitionist movement. While African or African American characters nor slavery appear in the story, the thematic elements lead me to consider Hawthorne’s story in relation … Read More Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Minister’s Black Veil” and Slavery

Suffocation and Concealment through Dust in Faulkner’s "Dry September"

After writing about Ellen Glasgow’s “Jordan’s End,” I picked up William Faulkner’s “Dry September” (1931). While not necessarily in the exact same narrative vein, Faulkner’s story, as with his other works, highlight the ideas of the Southern Gothic, specifically a place of suffocating oppression that does not resemble the idyllic region that authors sought to “recapture” after Reconstruction during the latter part of the … Read More Suffocation and Concealment through Dust in Faulkner’s "Dry September"

Ellen Glasgow’s "Jordan’s End" and the Decaying South

Before the narrative starts in Frank Yerby’s The Foxes of Harrow (1946), we see a description of the contemporaneous edifice of Harrow in decay, dilapidated beyond repair. Nature has retaken the land, and the once glorious house stands as a shell of its former self. Apart from this image, the Southern Gothic and symbols of the decaying South do not necessarily appear, at least … Read More Ellen Glasgow’s "Jordan’s End" and the Decaying South

Carson McCullers’s "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe"

As I read Carson McCuller’s The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, my mind kept going back to Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “Hop-Frog; or, The Eight Chained Orangoutangs.” On the surface, it may not appear that these two stories have much, if anything, in common. However, I would argue that a deeper examination of the stories in relation to another shows that they have some … Read More Carson McCullers’s "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe"