WGSS 398
Feminist and Queer Horror Films Fall 2024
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed ENGL 333 / AMST 390 / COMP 390 / THEA 390

Class Details

This course focuses on pairing theoretical readings with a variety of horror films with feminist or queer themes. Many tropes are associated with this genre – “the final girl” in slasher movies, “the transvestite murderer,” femme lesbian vampires, supernatural BDSM figures, vampires as allegories for HIV/AIDS, werewolves as metaphors for FTM gender transitions or puberty, lonely mothers in creaky houses as unreliable narrators, Satanic spawn, and creepy long-haired girls. Some films reinforce gender stereotypes while others snap on more explicitly feminist and queer lenses. This course functions as a survey of many different genres, introducing students to classic 1970s films and working up to the present day and we will learn how these tropes developed and then were subverted by more modern day films such as those by A24 Studies and the new renaissance of Black horror, etc. Most films will focus on the US, with some notable exceptions in Japan, Spain, and elsewhere globally. There will be graphic content. You must be 18 or over to take this class.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 1335
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Class participation, short reflection papers, 2-3 extemporaneous oral class responses, several creative assignments.
Prerequisites: None. Prior WGSS courses will be helpful.
Enrollment Preferences: Stage 1 is a statement of interest form; Stage 2 will be a very brief interview. There is NO preference by major or class year.
Materials/Lab Fee: Some of the creative assignments will have an "artsy-craftsy" component, but should not cost more than 25 dollars total per student per semester, though amounts will vary depending on how the student chooses to execute the assignment.
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
WGSS 398 Division II ENGL 333 Division I AMST 390 Division II COMP 390 Division I THEA 390 Division I
DPE Notes: This course necessarily examines power when it comes to gender and sexuality - who has it? what do they do with it? how does this power turn deadly? how can agency be regained? Horror is almost never about equitable situations but rather the imbalance that comes from difference (along whatever axis) causing a lack of equity.
Attributes: WGSS Racial Sexual + Cultural Diversity Courses

Class Grid

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