albeit 1.1: Horror: Syllabus

Natalie Leppard

Week 1: An Introduction to Horror

Reading:

Writing:

  • What Is horror?

 

Week 2: Personal Connections

Reading:

Viewing:

Writing:

  • What was your first (or most memorable) experience reading or watching the horror genre? If this is a new genre for you, what are your expectations?

 

Week 3: Vampires: Old School

Reading:

Viewing:

Writing:

  • Stoker wrote Dracula as a series of journal entries, letters, and other documents. Write a letter to Stoker or one of the characters in Dracula about an important aspect of the novel. See Clare Braun’s collection of letters to Henry James and Edith Wharton for reference.

 

Week 4: Vampires: New School

Reading:

Viewing:

Writing:

  • Compare the depiction of vampires in one episode of a contemporary vampire TV show (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, True Blood, Being Human, The Vampire Diaries, etc.) to the depiction of a vampire in Dracula.

 

Week 5: From Page to Song to Film

Reading:

Viewing:

Writing:

  • Consider how you would adapt one of the texts we’ve read to song or film. What elements would you keep, discard, enhance, and/or downplay?

 

Week 6: The Creature

Reading:

 Viewing:

 Writing:

  • What does it mean to create another being? What are the ethical concerns if that being turns out to be a “monster”?

 

Week 7: The Creature

Reading:

Viewing:

Writing:

  • Consider the themes of alienation and loneliness in Frankenstein and how they might apply to a contemporary group of people.

 

Week 8: Stephen King and Reality

 

Week 9: Haunted Houses

Reading:

Viewing:

Writing:

  • What makes a house look haunted?

 

Week 10: Haunted Houses

Reading:

Viewing:

Writing:

  • What cultural fears do we project upon houses? Why?

 

Week 11: Zombies

Reading:

Viewing:

Writing:

  • Compare the visual elements of the graphic novel to those of the TV show.

 

Week 12: Zombies

Reading:

Listening & Viewing:

Writing:

  • What do the cultural differences in zombie origin stories (voodoo v. virus) tell us about the cultures that create the stories?

 

Week 13: Fictional Panic

Reading:

Listening:

 Writing:

  • Consider the idea that fiction could be taken for reality, or reality for fiction. What fiction could you mistake for reality? What reality for fiction?

 

Week 14: Your Best Ghost Story: Student Presentations

Reading:

Writing:

  • Present your ghost story to the class. Your discussion may include any origins in traditional horror stories, contemporary interpretations, what makes this story so frightening (or not), etc.

 

Week 15: Wrap It Up

Reading, Viewing, & Listening:

Writing:

  • Horror movies use music to heighten tension and startle us. Choose a work we’ve read this term and create a playlist for that work.