Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
First-Year Seminar


FYS 190. Restless Spirits

Even in our technological twenty-first century, we are still haunted by ghosts and spirits. Armies of vampires and zombies roam across our TV and movie screens. And while we often associate stories of the supernatural with “popular” writers like H.P. Lovecraft or Stephen King, literary authors from Charles Dickens to Edith Wharton to James Joyce have also tried their hand at the supernatural. What makes these stories so frightening, and so compelling? Why do we return again and again to these tales of restless spirits? This course asks students to closely consider these questions, critically examining these tales, as well as the works of scholars who have theorized about the literature of the supernatural.

Secondly, but equally importantly, as a second-semester FYS, this course will build upon academic skills practiced in the first semester. As much as we will focus on tales of the supernatural, we will also focus on the skills of academic reading and writing, time management, and developing strategies that lead to academic success.