Date(s) - Wed. Jan. 18, 2012 - Wed. Feb. 22, 2012
12:00 am GMT

Blue Sunshine

Alanna Thain, Anne Golden, Charlie Ellbé, Kristopher Woofter, Mario DeGiglio-Bellemare


Up until the 1970s, the horror genre was perceived as either encouraging sadistic behaviour or endorsing adolescent escapism. With the publication of Robin Wood and Richard Lippe’s American Nightmare: Essays on the Horror Film in 1979, and with the development of cultural studies more generally, horror genre theorists began to break out from “media effect” theories that often underscored earlier discussions about the genre by film critics and scholars. This six week course will examine the recent history of horror theorizing starting in the early-1980s through some of the most influential writings on the genre. From Linda Williams’ essay on women and looking, Barbara Creed’s monstrous-feminine, Tania Modleski’s terror of pleasure, Carol Clover’s final girl, Steven Shaviro’s cinematic bodies, through to Cynthia Freeland’s dread-centred experience of horror, this course will discuss these genre theorists in conjunction with the “major” thinkers that influenced them, such as Sigmund Freud, Julia Kristeva, Karl Marx, Laura Mulvey, Gilles Deleuze, and Nöel Carroll. Every session will be taught by a different instructor. A film screening will accompany each session.


Week 1 – Jan 18:      Mario DeGiglio-Bellemare: Marcuse/Wood (1979) – Deathdream (Bob Clark, 1974) – 88 minutes

Week 1 Readings PDF


Week 2 – Jan 25:      Charlie Ellbé:             Kristeva/Creed (1986) – Possession  (Andrzej Zulawski, 1981) – 127 minutes

Week 2 Readings PDF


Week 3 – Feb 1:        Anne Golden:             Freud/Williams (1983) – Ju-on (Takashi Shimizu, 2002) – 92 minutes

Week 3 Readings PDF


Week 4 – Feb 8:        Mario DeGiglio-Bellemare:     Mulvey/Clover (1987-1992) – Hell Night  (Tom DeSimone, 1981) – 101 minutes.

Week 4 Readings PDF


Week 5 – Feb 15:      Alanna Thain:             Deleuze/Shaviro (1993) – Rabid (David Cronenberg, 1977) – 91 minutes

Week 5 Readings PDF


Week 6 – Feb 22:      Kristopher Woofter:         Carroll/Freeland (2004) – Cropsey (Barabara Brancaccio & Joshua Zeman, 2009) – 84 minutes

Week 6 Readings PDF 1

Week 6 Readings PDF 2


Carroll, Noël. 1990. The Philosophy of Horror, or, Paradoxes of the Heart. New York: Routledge.
Clover, Carol. 1992. Men, Women, and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film. London: BFI Publishing.
Creed, Barbara. 1993. The Monstrous-Feminine: Film, Feminism, Psychoanalysis. New York: Routledge.
Deleuze, Gilles. 1986. Cinema 1: The Movement-Image. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
____________. 1989. Cinema 2: The Time-Image. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
Freeland, Cynthia A. 1995. “Realist Horror,” in Freeland and Wartenberg: 126-142.
________________. 2000. The Naked and the Undead: Evil and the Appeal of Horror. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
_____________. 2004. “Horror and Art-Dread,” in Prince: 189-205.
Freeland, Cynthia A., and Thomas E. Wartenberg, eds. 1995. Philosophy and Film. New York: Routledge.
Freud, Sigmund. 2003. The Uncanny (1919). New York: Penguin Books.
Gelder, Ken, ed. 2000. The Horror Reader. New York: Routledge.
Grant, Barry Keith, ed. 1996. The Dread of Difference: Gender and the Horror Film. Austin: University of Texas Press.
Jancovich, Mark. 1992. Horror. London: B.T. Batsford.
_____________, ed. 2002. Horror, The Film Reader. London: Routledge.
Kristeva, Julia. 1982. Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
Modleski, Tania. 2000. “The Terror of Pleasure: The Contemporary Horror Film and Postmodern Theory,” in Gelder: 285-93.
Mulvey, Laura. 1989. Visual and Other Pleasures. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Prince, Stephen, ed. 2004. The Horror Film. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Shaviro, Steven. 1993. The Cinematic Body. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
Tucker, Robert C., ed. 1972. The Marx-Engels Reader. New York: W.W. Norton.
Wells, Paul. 2000. The Horror Genre: From Beelzebub to Blair Witch. London: Wallflower Press.
Williams, Linda. 1996. “When the Woman Looks,” in Grant: 15-24.
Wood, Robin, and Richard Lippe, eds. 1979. American Nightmare: Essays on the Horror Film. Toronto: Festival of Festivals.
Wood, Robin. 1986. Hollywood: From Vietnam to Reagan. New York: Columbia University Press.