Sp. Topics 6: American Horror Cinema

Faculteit Letteren
Jaar 2021/22
Vakcode LAX074B05
Vaknaam Sp. Topics 6: American Horror Cinema
Niveau(s) bachelor
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester II b
Rooster rooster.rug.nl

Uitgebreide vaknaam Special Topics 6: American Horror Cinema: "Reading" the Nightmares of a Generation
Leerdoelen By the end of the course, students will be able to:
1. demonstrate an understanding of the interrelationship between history and (popular) culture, and the ways in which ideology informs and reflects either.
2. demonstrate a knowledge of the trends and events that shaped 20th century US-American history as well as culture.
3. analyze cultural products, particularly movies, for their internal meaning and logic, as well as their varying external influences.
4. produce cohesive, well-written, and well-argued essays on the topics and material covered in the course as well as any related ones, exhibiting a keen understanding of historical context, artistic expression, and ideological inflections.
5. wield a wide array of tools, interdisciplinary theories, and methodologies in their approach to the critical analysis of texts.
Omschrijving As the infamously last horror movie to be released before the MPAA film rating system came into existence, 1968’s Night of the Living Dead provoked an immediate and visceral outrage. On a superficial level, this outrage was a reaction to the movie’s matinée screening, meaning that children could head from school directly to the cinema and watch what The New Yorker at the time called “one of the most gruesomely terrifying movies ever made.” But on a deeper level, the movie captured and reflected the cultural anxieties of a country shaken by political assassinations at home and an ongoing, inconclusive war abroad. It addressed the creeping demise of the atomic family, the failure of the counterculture, the sense of increasing tension between the genders and races, and so much more. As a horror movie, it was groundbreaking, but as a cultural artifact, Night of the Living Dead provides a unique source and look at the nightmares of a generation. In line with this understanding, this course offers an interdisciplinary approach to the subject of cultural analysis through the examination of horror movies as vessels for various, culturally-bound desires, anxieties, and ideologies. As such, the course will address the subject of what “horror” actually is, how it can be conjured, and the paradoxical nature of horror movies as consumer products that are supposed to horrify their audience. More importantly, however, the course will provide an explicit introduction to the subject of cultural analysis, its purpose, and the variety of ways in which it can be approached. Furthermore, the course will link the topics discussed in the previous semester’s courses Americas I and ToC I, by emphasizing the interrelation between historical moment and cultural zeitgeist. Just like any other cultural product, movies are, by virtue of the period they are made in, left with an imprint, a metaphorical watermark, that identifies them as being of a specific era and culture. It is this course’s aim to extract this identity and read it through the use of various theories and modes of thought as a manifestation of its cultural, political, and social moment.
Uren per week 2
Onderwijsvorm werkcollege
(2 uur werkcollege)
Vaksoort bachelor jr 2
Coördinator M.L. Thompson
Docent(en) J.A. Müller, MA.
Entreevoorwaarden Toegang tot het tweede jaar, d.w.z. minimaal 45 ECTS behaald uit de propedeuse van de BA American Studies. NB: Voor het collegejaar 2021-2022 geldt een norm van minimaal 35 ECTS.
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
Ba American Studies 2 semester II b keuzegroep