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current students > seminars > fall 2012 schedule > seminar: Inquiry, Discovery, and Literature: The Powers of Horror: Horror Fiction and Film


Honors Seminars Fall 2012

Inquiry, Discovery, and Literature: The Powers of Horror: Horror Fiction and Film

HON 202 Sec:006  
3 hours  
GER Cat:
Humanities: Literature  
Winston 002  
Dr. Thomas P. Phillips
Restrictions: Freshmen Only  

Restricted to first semester UHP freshmen.

As applied to creative disciplines, the term horror has many connotations that reflect diverse aesthetic styles and ideologies over what is arguably a long span of time. Like other genres, horror is also deeply imprinted by the entertainment industry, particularly in the 20th and 21st centuries. This section of HON 203 will examine the genre through a variety of literary and cinematic texts (among others, including music and painting) with the aim of gaining insight into the central question of why we are drawn to horror as entertainment and cultural practice. Additionally, the course will explore five commonly overlapping aspects of the genre: the psychology of spectatorship, horror as cultural commentary, gender, religion, and the democratization of discursive and visual art forms.

Students will be asked to engage with readings ranging from literary to theoretical texts on the aesthetics and psychology of horror as it relates to each medium. Most films will be viewed outside of class at designated times and places or at the student's convenience, though we will watch clips in class. Evaluation will be based on class participation, one response essay, a longer research-based essay, and a final exam.

Fiction Don DeLillo, Point Omega Nathaniel Hawthorne, "Young Goodman Brown" Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House M. R. James, "The Ash-Tree" H.P. Lovecraft, "Dreams in the Witch House" Edgar Allan Poe, "The Fall of the House of Usher"

Film John Carpenter, Halloween Alfred Hitchcock, Psycho Stanley Kubrick, The Shining Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez, The Blair Witch Project Roman Polanski, Rosemary's Baby George Romero, Night of the Living Dead Robert Wise, The Haunting