Monster, Vampire, Cannibal: Queer Horror and the Gothic (NYC online)

Thu. Oct. 15, 2020

Since the first Gothic novel, Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764), the Gothic has included themes of transgressive sexuality. Queerness is embedded in the roots of Gothic fiction, and conversely gothicism has become a means of creating a “queer world” in art, literature, and culture. Though Gothic themes and tropes have morphed over the years to reflect shifting cultural anxieties and desires, gothicism along with its inherent queerness has persisted in various forms up to the present. Horror often contains Gothic elements such as monstrosity, cannibalism, haunting, live burial, torture, subterranean passages, and sexualized power dynamics that signal overt or sub-textual queer content. This class asks students to consider how and why gothicism emerges in queer horror contexts.


Thu. Sep. 17, 2020

Accomplished actor, writer and director Andy Nyman (Ghost Stories, Peaky Blinders, The Woman in Black) joins Den of Geek’s Rosie Fletcher to explore the part that psychology plays in horror cinema and theatre. What makes one scare work when another does not? How have themes of mental health played into his own work including the incredible stage play and later film adaptation of Ghost Stories? And how does his deep understanding of what makes people tick feed into his work with illusionist Derren Brown? This intimate conversation will explore Andy’s career, his personal love of horror and what makes him tick, as a performer, creator and as a fan.

Wasteland: The Great War and the Origins of Modern Horror (LA online)

Thu. Dec. 3, 2020

Can we say the Great War created the horror film? In many respects yes. The idea of the terrifying supernatural, of course, has its roots in the earliest human civilizations and probably back to the first ceremonial burials. But we will learn how modern horror received a special impetus from what happened to the human body, what could be done to the human body, by the terrifying tech introduced in the Great War. The Great War transformed the modern world. The Great War also filled that world with nightmares, some old as time but made new in the ghastly aftermath of the conflict. Join us in exploring the wasteland.


Thu. Nov. 5, 2020

Veteran comedy writer David Misch (Mork & Mindy, Police Squad!, Saturday Night Live) explores how both humor and horror share a mordant view of our relationship to pain – an obsession with the human body and its multifarious fluids, and a subtext of death and transcendence underlying the eviscerated flesh and fart jokes. What could be more blood-curdlingly fun?

Symphony Macabre: Bernard Herrmann and the Scoring of Horror (LA online)

Thu. Sep. 24, 2020

In his 35-year film career, Bernard Herrmann scored “respectable” screen classics like Citizen Kane, Jane Eyre, and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. But this emotionally volatile iconoclast was no snob. He loved exploring the dark side of human nature, in classic horror and suspense titles for multiple media. Through clips and music cues, plus interviews with the composer himself, we’ll discover how Herrmann earned his reputation as the twentieth century’s top composer of horror and suspense scores, and explore techniques he used to put us inside the minds of characters that society would consider “monsters,” and how he made us feel their humanity as well as their madness.