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 202 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. At the very minimum, then, students will be encouraged to consider the degree to which even a popular genre such as horror rewards, and is itself illuminated, by critical inquiry.
We will 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 a designated time and place 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, a midterm, and a final exam.
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"
John Carpenter, Halloween
William Friedkin, The Exorcist
Alfred Hitchcock, Psycho
Stanley Kubrick, The Shining
Neil Marshall, The Descent
Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez, The Blair Witch Project