New year, new classes!
This year, where I have them, I’ll be posting a short summary of what the weekend’s classes will be looking at (just to tempt you even more!)
Our Saturday class this week is with Lori A. Paige, author of The Gothic Romance Wave. Her talk will be on
THE GOTHIC WAVE: Three Centuries of Gothic Novels and Popular Culture
The late 1960s and early 1970s saw the birth of modern feminism, the sexual revolution, and strong growth in the mass-market publishing industry. Women made up a large part of the book market, and Gothic fiction became a higher popular staple. Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart and Phyllis Whitney emerged as prominent authors, while the standardized paperback Gothic sold in the millions. Pitched at middle-class women of all ages, Gothics paved the way for contemporary fiction categories such as urban fantasy, paranormal romance and vampire erotica. Though not as popular today as they once were, Gothic paperbacks retain a cult following–and the books themselves have become collectors’ items. They were also the first popular novels to present strong heroines as agents of liberation and transformation. It’s time to uncover the missing chapters of the Gothic story, from the imaginative creations of Ann Radcliffe and the Bronte sisters to the bestseller 50 Shades of Grey.
Our Sunday class will be held with Alicia Dominguez Perez on
GOTHIC AND SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION
When teaching English as a second language one thing is certain: students show higher motivation, engagement and quicker results when they learn the target language in a context they feel engaged with and they can relate to rather than using traditional approaches. Second language learning is still taught decontextualized from literary formats limiting all its benefits which can go from exposure to other cultures and traditions to widening students’ range of vocabulary. Moreover, teaching a second language through the Gothic lens can help students become better thinkers and communicators independently of their jobs, academic background or age. This happens because the Gothic context provides stories and extreme situations that trigger students’ critical thinking by taking them out of their comfort zone and therefore making them find a variety of solutions to problems. Adapting the learning of a second language towards a practical, engaging, entertaining and holistic approach is still very much an area to explore in second language teaching.