Gothic Terror, Gothic Horror in the Classroom: Round Table on Teaching the Gothic for IGA

deadline for submissions: 
January 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Bridget Marshall
contact email: 

For the 2019 conference of the International Gothic Association (to be held at Lewis University July 30th– August 2nd:, I am organizing a roundtable with 5 to 7 participants to talk about best practices in teaching the Gothic. 

From choosing just what to include (how do we fit this all in one semester?) to designing good writing assignments (how do we avoid terrible vampire compare-and-contrast essays?) to managing classroom discussions that will frequently veer into topics related to violence, sexual violence, and trauma, teaching the Gothic presents many challenges. This roundtable will be an opportunity for those who have experience teaching the Gothic at the undergraduate or graduate level to share their expertise and exchange ideas to improve these already popular courses. 

Potential questions to address might include:

  • What’s the right balance of primary texts and theory?
  • What texts absolutely MUST be on any Gothic syllabus (and why)?
  • Which forms to include: Novels, short stories, poems…and beyond?
  • Which editions of selected texts have you chosen? Especially considering students’ budgets, are there any open-source, free, or low-cost options that work?
  • Syllabus organizational strategies: Chronological? Thematic? 
  • How to prepare for and manage class discussions about violence, sexual violence, trauma, or other tough topics that arise in the Gothic?
  • How can we decolonize the Gothic syllabus?
  • Strategies for teaching a Gothic course for English majors versus teaching the general education-type course for students in other majors.
  • Are there opportunities for Service Learning in the Gothic course?
  • How do we design good assessment tools – papers, exams, etc. – to see what the students are learning in our Gothic courses?
  • What are the Learning Outcomes we’re expecting students to achieve in a course on the Gothic?

I welcome papers that explore both successes and failures in the Gothic classroom. Completed papers should be short (roughly 5 pages) and focus on experiences and best practices in teaching the Gothic at the undergraduate or graduate level.  This will allow time for discussion and sharing among panelists and the audience. Panelists will be encouraged to share course materials such as syllabi, writing assignments, reading lists, or classroom activities.

Please send 250-word abstracts by January 15th2019 to Bridget Marshall:

Please include your name, a brief bio, affiliation, and contact details. 

Note: The IGA conference organizer has indicated that those who present on this panel may also (if they choose) submit an abstract for another paper for a standard panel presentation.

For more information about the IGA Conference, you can visit the website:  Facebook page: or Twitter: