International Horror

Subject Name: 
Comparative Literature
Course Number: 
UMass Amherst
For this course, fiction, film, poetry, music and video games will be our primary texts. The course will reflect on three areas of inquiry with regards to the horror genre: (i) psychological ramifications: what evokes fear and why; how a particular kind of demon or monster evokes a particular kind of fear and how, in doing so, the demonic or monstrous reveals the human condition; (ii) cultural specificities: how place (where the text is set/produced) reshapes the specific depictions and meanings of fear; how these disparate fear-representations find a universal echo because of the effects of fear and (iii) particular social representations of minorities: what are the time- and place-bound implications of such representations. (Gen. Ed. AL, DG)
This class looks at horror in fiction, film, music, video games and poetry from Germany, South Korea, and other places from around the globe. Through an atmospheric approach to horror, we'll broaden our understanding of what counts as horrific. Why does the child in Babadook scare us, for example, how is the Winter Soldier in Captain America uncanny; why are aliens shown as cold/emotionless, what effect do ruins have in dystopian thrillers like Battle Royale. We'll learn that, like a terrifying dream, the Monstrous Thing ultimately reveals the workings of the human mind, and that while culture and place might shape the interior of our psyches in unique ways, we all live in the same dark house.
Instructor Permission: 
Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.
Schedule #: 

Course Sections

International Horror
Sect # Credits Instructor(s) Instructor Email Meeting Times Location
01 4.0 Shastri Akella TU TH 2:30PM 3:45PM Herter Hall room 107