TOPIC: THE MONSTER SHOW: CULTURAL ANXIETIES IN THE HORROR GENRE

In this course, students will develop critical reading and analytical writing skills through the exploration of the horror genre. More specifically, the texts which will provide the material for analysis will all deal with representations of monsters such as vampires, werewolves, and zombies. We will examine written and visual texts to ask how horror allows our culture to deal with its oft-unspoken fears about gender, sexuality, race, and class.

Throughout the semester, we will ponder the genre's potential to affect social change; does horror generally uphold the current social order and perpetuate stereotypes and cultural myths or does it contain the possibility of social critique and change? Students will investigate these problems through analytical, argumentative academic essays which examine "monster shows" through the lens of social issues.