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Shirley Jackson’s Weird (NYC)

Tue. Mar. 13, 2018

This class is devoted to the work of the reclusive Vermont author whose brutal short story, “The Lottery,” still holds the record for the most letters of protest sent to The New Yorker for publishing it. Come along with instructor Kristopher Woofter as we walk through the haunted spaces of Jackson’s four major works: THE LOTTERY AND OTHER STORIES (1949), and her “uncanny house trilogy,” THE SUNDIAL (1958), THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE (1959), and WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE (1962). A bestseller in her time, and a major influence on authors like Stephen King and Joyce Carol Oates, Jackson’s work has gone relatively unacknowledged by scholarship that relegates her to obscurity. Jackson’s body of work varied from domestic satire in her darkly humorous memoirs RAISING DEMONS and LIFE AMONG THE SAVAGES), to young-adult fiction (THE WITCHCRAFT OF SALEM VILLAGE), to uncanny psychological studies (THE ROAD THROUGH THE WALL, THE BIRD’S NEST), to her most popular work in the realm of horror and the weird. This class brings Jackson back to acknowledge her place as one of America’s—and without question one of horror’s—greatest writers.

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Black Horror: The Revolutionary Act of Subverting the White Gaze (NYC)

Tue. Feb. 13, 2018

From Spencer Williams’ Son of Ingagi to Jordan Peele’s Get Out, the cinematic screen has consistently served as a site of subversion for filmmakers of the African diaspora. Through the camera’s lens, tales of hauntings, demonic possession, vampirism, and hoodoo rituals gone awry have become a celluloid metaphor for colonization and racism’s toll on the Black psyche. This multimedia presentation will offer an immersive thematic overview of Black horror narratives while highlighting noteworthy films within the genre spanning the early 1900s to modern day. Select films will be paired with excerpts of literary, sociological, and philosophical texts to enhance students understanding of the cinematic genre and its radical roots. Through visual, cultural, and historical exploration, this presentation aims to examine and foster dialogue about what happens when subjection is subverted and what stories can be told when the white gaze is decentered.

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Sacred Disobedience: on ‘Penda’s Fen’ (NYC)

Tue. Jan. 9, 2018

Only recently exhumed after having been out of circulation for forty years, Alan Clarke and David Rudkin’s Penda’s Fen has lost none of its power to bewitch and ensorcel. This illustrated talk by Sukhdev Sandhu will explore its topographies and febrile contexts – experimental public broadcasting, avant-garde arcadias, the rural uncanny, a mid-70s Britain that teetered on the brink of civil war, the rise of eldritch England.

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Happy Holidays from the Miskatonic Institute!

Tue. Jan. 9, 2018

We’ll be back in January with a new semester of classes (check out the upcoming events listed in the right hand column) but until then Happy Holidays! Tickets and season passes will be on sale soon (passes will be available on the Registration page, individual tickets will be available on the individual event pages shortly). […]

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Secret Powers of Attraction: Folk Horror in its Cultural Context

Thu. Jan. 18, 2018

British “folk horror” was in many ways a phenomenon of the 1970s, but it has seen a massive revival of popularity in the last decade. What caused it to grow in the fields, forests and furrows of the 1970s and early 1980s? And why has it come back with such a vengeance? In Secret Powers of Attraction, Howard David Ingham gives a broad overview of British folk horror in its time and space, and how popular interest in the occult creates the conditions for it to become a force in our collective imagination.