[In Progress] Gothic Transformations: Monsters and Mad Science With the Ghoul Guides, Dr. Lauren Nixon and Dr. Mary Going | Virtual Course

Date / Time

  • May 2, 2023
    6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
  • May 16, 2023
    6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
  • May 30, 2023
    6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
  • June 13, 2023
    6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
  • June 27, 2023
    6:00 pm - 7:30 pm



  • Tuition for this course is $250. 10% off for Rosenbach members and the Delancey Society. Not a member? Learn more.
  • This course is limited to participants who are 18 years of age or older.
  • Please check your spam folder for your email confirmation. If you have questions, please call (215) 732-1600 or email [email protected].
  • Registration opens for Delancey Society members on March 2, for members on March 9, and for the general public on March 16.



A 5-session course exploring the transformations of the Gothic in the nineteenth century. Following the origin of the Gothic with Horace Walpole’s Castle of Otranto in 1765 and the rise of Gothic icons Ann Radcliffe and Matthew Lewis in the 1790s and early 1800s, the nineteenth century saw the Gothic turn towards monsters, supernatural transformations, and science.  

This course will take you through some of these key developments in British Gothic, and to start us off we’ll be looking at some of Mary Shelley’s short stories. Though perhaps best known for her iconic 1818 novel Frankenstein with its mad scientist, Shelley continued to publish throughout her life and authored many short stories. After exploring a selection of Shelley’s short stories, we will turn to Robert Louis Stevenson, focusing on his best known novella Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and also his short story “The Body Snatcher.” These strange tales offer different perspectives on nineteenth century monsters as well as reflecting anxieties surrounding scientific discoveries and the relationship between the human body (dead or alive) with science. Finally, we will turn to H. G. Wells’s novel The Island of Doctor Moreau to explore the Gothic anxieties at the end of the century surrounding evolution, devolution, and mad science. 


All of the texts are available to read free online. For each session, we will provide a link to the online version as well as recommended print versions if you wish to purchase the text and have a physical copy.  

  • Mary Shelley – short stories (1819-1835) including: “Transformation”, “The Mortal Immortal”,  “Roger Dodsworth: The Reanimated Englishman” 
  • Robert Louis Stevenson – Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886) and “The Body Snatcher” (1884) 
  • HG Wells – The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896) 

Gothic Transformations syllabus

About the Instructors

The Ghoul Guides – a digital multimedia project devoted to exploring, understanding, and enjoying the wonders and weirdness of the Gothic. Ghoul Guides podcast 

Dr. Lauren Nixon is a certified plague doctor, having obtained her PhD in 2020 from the University of Sheffield. She is the Doctoral Communications Executive at Nottingham Trent University, and has written for publications such as the Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine. Lauren specializes in representation of war, nationality and gender in the Gothic from its eighteenth century origins to modern media and was a cohost for the Rosenbach’s Austen Mondays program. 

Dr. Mary Going completed her PhD exploring Christian constructions of the Jewish Other in literature from the University of Sheffield in 2022, and she is currently a Research Associate at the same university. She remains passionate about all things related to vampires and Buffy, and her current research focuses on the intersection of religion and theology with Gothic and horror narratives. Mary is also the web officer for the International Gothic Association. 

Previously, The Ghoul Guides have been cohosts for the Sundays with Dracula, Sundays with Frankenstein, and Sundays with Jane Eyre programs, and also led the Gothic Awakenings course in 2021 for the Rosenbach.