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Course Details

Spring 2017-2018
ENG 394 / GSS 398 (LA)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Ghosts, Zombies and Liminal Creatures in Film, Literature and Photography

Anne McClintock

This course explores the persistent hauntings of U.S. culture by ghosts, zombies, vampires and liminal creatures. Why did the ancient cult of the paranormal rise up with intensity after 9/11 and haunt our popular cultural forms as well as the continuing "War on Terror"? Exploring films, photographs, literature and popular culture, we engage the ritualistic presence, psychodynamics, social history, and racial and gendered underpinnings of these fascinating hauntings. Themes include: zombies, vampires, the walking dead; the shadows of slavery; return to "Indian Country"; queer sexualities and racial crossings; and environmental ghostscapes.

Sample reading list:
Mary Shelley, Dracula
Avery Gordon, Ghostly Matters
Colson Whitehead, Zone One
Renee Bergland, The National Uncanny. Indian Ghosts and American Subjects
Catherine Hardwicke, Twilight
Ramzi Fawaz, The New Mutants

Reading/Writing assignments:
Approximately 100-200 pages of reading a week, depending on whether we are reading a book, or individual articles. Participants will submit two papers (one of which may be creative): one mid-term (about 6-8 pages), one final (about 12-15 pages). Participants will submit a blog entry every week for the whole class to read. The class will also divide into collaborative group projects.

Paper in Lieu of Mid Term - 25%
Paper in lieu of Final - 25%
Oral Presentation(s) - 25%
Class/Precept Participation - 10%
Other (See Instructor) - 15%

Other Requirements:
Not Open to Freshmen.

Other information:
Depending on the class size, students will divide into groups. Each group will choose a theme for a collaborative project. Project themes can be wide-ranging, creative and inventive, but should relate to the readings and themes of the course. Each group will give a class presentation on their project, using the resources of the new media: youtube, films, images, music, regular research, etc. Workshops should be as creative, inventive, compelling, original and informative as possible.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
43386 S01 01:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm M   McCosh Hall   40   Enrolled:14 Limit:15 Closed