Fine Arts | Problems in American Art
A643 | 2204 | Burns

American Gothic: Fantasy, Horror, the Uncanny and the Grotesque in Culture
and Society

This class will survey, analyze, and critique the "Gothic" imagination in
American culture and society from the early nineteenth century to the
present.  The range of material is interdisciplinary and extends as well
from "high" to "low."  We will be looking at and discussing paintings,
caricature, architecture, classic novels and stories, pulp fiction,
biography, photography, movies, and the internet.  In addition, we will
investigate theories of the uncanny and of horror as formulated by Sigmund
Freud, Julia Kristeva, and others.  Beginning with an examination of forms
and genres that fall into the "Gothic" category, we will proceed to
investigate where the Gothic fits into (or falls out of) American culture,
and what cultural work the Gothic performs and for whom, and why.

Class meetings will be discussion-oriented and highly participatory.
Each student will research and report on a topic of choice.

Joint offered with AMST G751