ENGLISH 5023 X2: SPECIAL TOPICS IN LITERATURE AND CULTURE
This course will survey a broad sample of horror stories (delivered through novels, short stories, graphic novels, films and digital games) to explore the uncertainty/instability at the heart of the human condition and its narratives. We will focus on political/social approaches (rather than genre or psychoanalytic approaches), appeal to various theorists (such as Noel Carroll and Leo Braudy), and unpack specific examples using a number of theoretical lenses (i.e. historical, political, feminist, comparative media studies) to achieve the following goals: to examine the relationship between monstrosity and culturally/temporally specific fears and anxieties, and to explore persistent and apparently universal sources of dread, and the ways that various forms of mediation allow safe(r) forms of access to otherwise threatening and dangerous ideas, events and characters. Our discussions will lead to an interrogation of the idea of the "fear of the unknown" popularized via H.P Lovecraft and more recently evolved by writers of Weird fiction and the New Weird movement.
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