Fall Semester Senior Choice
From its beginnings in the 18th century to this year’s Oscar-winning South Korean film Parasite (Bong Joon-ho & Han Jin-won)—we will look at the art and literature of fear. During the course we’ll consider the distinctions between horror and terror, between the ghastly and the macabre, and between psychological, paranormal, and supernatural fears. We’ll consider classic gothic tropes, such as basements, attics, haunted houses, doppelgängers, fallen societies, darkness, a romanticized past, curses, prophesies, diminished senses, insanity, shapeshifting, the family, the uncanny, the sublime, entrapment, secrets, and ghosts. Because the Gothic is the art of cultural fears, we will consider race, class, and gender in each of these texts. Spanning genres (poetry, novels, short stories, films, visual art, sounds), and celebrating Halloween and All Saints Day and All Souls Day—this class will deeply consider literatures of fear. As Carmen Maria Machado says, horror “tells us a lot about who we are, what we are, and what we, individually and culturally, are afraid of.” Students will write and create their own works of gothic or horror writing and art in response to or inspired by the texts we study, as well as do close-reads of the texts we are studying.