Summer Courses | Rutgers University

232 The Gothic

The Gothic: Survey of Horror in Literature (21:350:232:H7:02714)
Class Dates: 07/10 - 8/16
Class Times: TTh, 6:00 PM - 9:45 PM
Instructor: Rosetti
Location: Canvas
Format: Remote - Synchronous
Credits: 3

For too long, horror fiction was ignored by academia – considered nothing more than a fringe literary genre, unworthy of advanced study. Thankfully, as the genre’s popularity exploded among mainstream readers, it has gained increasing acceptance as a legitimate topic of study. For centuries, greatly talented writers have penned horror stories deserving of critical analysis. This course shines a spotlight on these men and women who have defined horror fiction with terrifying images and thrilling ideas for readers of all ages.

Much more than lurking monsters or haunting screams, horror fiction exposes our human frailty, an appetite for fear, and capacity for evil. In the best horror literature, authors regularly explore gender roles, sexuality, race, religion, and the shadowy extremes of imagination. This course begins with a history of the Gothic origins of horror fiction and continues through the great horror boom of the late 20th century. Students will analyze a cross-section of genre-defining works – while also considering the impact of horror on modern culture and artistic expression. Readings include horror stories from the most celebrated authors of the genre: Barker, Bierce, Bradbury, Brite, du Maurier, Jackson, James, King, Koontz, Laymon, Lovecraft, Matheson, Oates, Poe, Polidori, Shelley, Stoker… and many others.

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