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current students > seminars > spring 2012 schedule > seminar: Power of Horror


Honors Seminars Spring 2012

Power of Horror

HON 293 Sec:002  
3 hours  
GER Cat:
13:30 - 14:45  
Winston 12  
Dr. Thomas P. Phillips

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 293 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 Clive Barker, "The Midnight Meat Train" Don DeLillo, Point Omega Nathaniel Hawthorne, "Young Goodman Brown" Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House Joseph LeFanu, "Strange Event in the Life of Schalken the Painter" H.P. Lovecraft, "Dreams in the Witch House" Edgar Allan Poe, "The Cask of Amontillado" Akinari Ueda, "Bewitched"

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 Daniel Stamm, The Last Exorcism Robert Wise, The Haunting