Welcome to SPACE, our adult continuing education program which offers interactive monthly courses for personal enrichment! Learn more here.

Dr. Amy H. Sturgis

Signum MA FacultySPACE Preceptor

Investigating the past, the future, and the shadows

Amy H. Sturgis earned her Ph.D. in Intellectual History from Vanderbilt University and specializes in Science Fiction/Fantasy/Gothic and Indigenous American Studies [see full bio...]

Highlighted Modules

General Humanities
Series
General Humanities

All Modules

Haunting Tales: A Haunting on the Hill by Elizabeth Hand

Mixed Lecture/Discussion • Low intensity
For the very first time, Shirley Jackson’s estate has authorized a book inspired by Shirley Jackson’s work. The 2023 novel A Haunting on the Hill by author Elizabeth Hand (a three-time Shirley Jackson, World Fantasy, and Nebula Award winner) is a direct response to Shirley Jackson’s 1959 classic story The Haunting of Hill House. How does Elizabeth Hand challenge, update, and/or expand on the ideas of Shirley Jackson? How well does A Haunting on the Hill continue the tale of The Haunting of Hill House and/or stand on its own as a work of Gothic horror?

In this module, we will consider the challenges of the sequel or “inspired-by” work, discuss A Haunting on the Hill both in its context and on its own merits, note how the novel fits into Elizabeth Hand’s larger body of writings, and explore the ongoing relevance of the Gothic to 21st-century readers.

Haunting Tales Series

Mixed Lecture/Discussion • Low intensity
This is the Landing Page for Dr. Amy H. Sturgis's Haunting Tales series:

Module 1 explores the context and inspirations of the Gothic horror classic, The Haunting of Hill House (1959), by Shirley Jackson. We will consider its popular and critical receptions, its place in Shirley Jackson’s larger body of work, and its impact on contemporary readers.

Module 2 explore the challenges of the sequel or “inspired-by” work, A Haunting on the Hill (2023), by author Elizabeth Hand, both in its context as a response to The Haunting of Hill House and on its own merits. We will also consider how the novel fits into Elizabeth Hand’s larger body of writings and the ongoing relevance of the Gothic to 21st-century readers.

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Note: Students can jump in at any month/part of the Series. There are no prerequisites.

Meet The Last Man

Mixed Lecture/Discussion • Low intensity
One of the most relevant novels you could read right now was written almost two centuries ago. Mary Shelley’s The Last Man asks what it means to be human while living in unprecedented times. This 1826 classic of apocalyptic science fiction considers the implications of a global pandemic, a rapidly changing environment, and the failures of political and social institutions. Part imaginative autobiography, part science fictional warning, and part ecocritical thought experiment, The Last Man forces us to examine our assumptions about our present and future.

In this module we will consider Mary Shelley’s novel in the context of her life, times, and intellectual history. We will also explore the afterlife of The Last Man in critical discussions of the ominously similar challenges we face in the 21st century. In the process, we will discuss the novel’s lasting meanings and contributions as pioneering work of speculative fiction.
If you have any questions about the SPACE program, please reach out to [email protected].