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A Brief History of Horror (July 16 - July 21)

Instructor: Professor Mark Fabrizi

Who doesn't like to be scared once in a while? People have been entertaining each other by campfires for thousands of years—in fact, horror is one of the world’s oldest genres of fiction—and the stories are getting better each year. In this mini-course, we will explore the early origins of horror stories from Ancient Rome and Greece, read the werewolf tales of Medieval France, visit the ghost-loving Victorians, reckon with early American Gothic writers like Poe, read the weird fiction of H. P. Lovecraft, and consider the impact of modern British and American writers such as Clive Barker and Stephen King. We’ll look at the development of ghosts, vampires, zombies, and witches across the ages in both literature and film as we consider the central questions: What scares us? And why do we love it so much?

 Open to student entering Grades 10,11, or 12 in the fall. 

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Draft Schedule (Subject to Change)



Introduction and expectations: What is horror? 

Horror’s earliest days: Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, and the ancient world 


The Middle Ages: Origins of the werewolf The European witch craze 

Tuesday PM: 

The first horror novel and the Gothic tradition Early vampires in literature 


Frankenstein: Who’s the monster here? The Victorian ghost story 


Interlude: What about film and theatre? Adaptations and interpretations on screen The theatre: Grand guignol 

Thursday PM: 

Poe and the American Gothic 

Well, that’s weird: Blackwood, Lovecraft, Machen, and Weird fiction 


The modern masters: Shirley Jackson and Stephen King Splatterpunk: Clive Barker and Poppy Z. Brite 

What is horror? 

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