Welcome, Fall 2013 Class!

By: Gina Brandolino

Whether you have found this post before classes begin or are visiting it after I told you about it during our first class, I’m glad you have found the Course of Horror!  This semester is the first time this course will have a blog, and I can’t wait to see the ways it extends class discussion–what ideas get articulated here, what connections develop to other stories, ideas, experiences that might not get a chance to be voiced in class.

Though I just taught this course in Winter 2013, the reading list has undergone some exciting changes that I want to tell you about, giving you a taste of what’s to come.

  • First, I have added several student-recommended texts to the course, which you can read blog posts about by the students who did the recommending if you click on the category “Student-Recommended Texts” to the right. This is a course that just gets better and better thanks to student recommendations!
  • I was given a grant by the LEO Lecturers Professional Development fund to purchase texts to help me develop several class sessions exploring the phenomenon of 1950s American horror comics.  These really cool and interesting texts were considered problematic and extremely transgressive in their own era; industry standards are still in place to guard against the level of gore they displayed in comics.  Thanks to this grant, I have beefed up my lesson plans on them and chosen better readings for you.
  • After much encouragement from students, I have added a unit called “Human Monsters” which features stories in which the sinister figures are just people, nothing supernatural. Some truly creepy stories are in this unit, including the excellent graphic novelist Charles Burns’ Black Hole, which my friend Ray McDaniel introduced me to, and Doris Lessing’s short, dread-filled novel The Fifth Child, which my friend Lizzie Hutton recommended.
  • I am proud to say I have finally taken this course into the 21st century with the inclusion of two web-based horror stories, both recommended by students–so again, I direct you to the category “Student-Recommended Texts.”

Glad to have you along this semester; here’s to some creepy reading and good conversations, in class and here on the Course of Horror!

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