Communication and Culture | Media Genres (Topic: The History and Politics of the Horror Film)
C592 | 11481 | Hawkins, J.

Th, 4:30 PM-7:00 PM, C2 272
Required film screening: M, 7:15 PM-10:15 PM, Location: TBA

Meets with CULS-C 701

Open to Graduates Only!

Instructor: Joan Hawkins
Office: C2 211
Phone: 855-1548

This course takes a serious look at horror as a cultural and
cinematic form, and attempts to draw some conclusions about
its “politics”—sexual, ethnic, familial, economic etc.  How has
horror dealt with social changes in sexual mores. gender roles and
family structure, political and economic events, the increasing role
of technology in our lives, AIDS, addiction?  Is horror essentially
conservative or does it challenge accepted social paradigms?  What
is its relationship to mainstream cinema and to cultural criticism
at large? What is the relationship of art-horror to trash cinema;
horror to the avant-garde? Films will include: Meet Me in St. Louis,
George Romero’s original Night of the Living Dead, Michael Powell’s
Peeping Tom, Hitchcock’s Psycho, and units on European horror,
experimental horror, vampire films, Asian Extreme horror and early

Readings will run the gamut from novels (Geek Love, Dracula) to
theory by Derrida, Freud, Carol Clover, Barbara Creed,  Mark
Jancovich, Jeff Sconce, Linda Williams, Robin Wood and other
scholars working on the genre.  There will be some lecture, but the
class will be conducted primarily as a seminar.  Weekly screenings.

Required course work will include a short paper, an oral
presentation and a final project.

Essays on e-reserve
Mark Jancovich, Horror: The Film Reader (Routledge, 2001) 978-0-415-
Carol Clover, Men , Women and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror
Film (Princeton, 1992)
Mark Seltzer, Serial Killers: Death and Life in America’s Wound
Culture (Routledge, 1998)
Katharine Dunn, Geek Love
Bram Stoker, Dracula