Did I just say that?
Since earning my Masters degree in 2012, I've spent two approaching three years of a new case of growing pains: dead end jobs, lost jobs, underemployment, square peg/round hole positions that are not up to par with my ultimate strengths which have left me utterly bored, apathetic, and angry with myself for making impulse decisions. I'm not at that same desk five days a week any longer which to say was a relief would be an understatement. I needed to experience all of this to come out of that bad cycle and truly attempt to build a career path that this focused, stable, thoughtful, and fulfilling.
That tweet felt like a leap of faith. What if a contact from all of the inquires I put in about teaching film and/or English as an adjunct at a community college or university came through tomorrow with no guarantee of a position after 16 weeks but hey, you can teach what you want to a group of students who chose your course because of their interest? Would you leave this 40-hour a week space with benefits and paid vacation with a modest but (barely) liveable annual salary?
I said it. I meant it.
Awhile back, I went through my file cabinet; an organized collection of dozens of articles, essays, papers, and syllabi over my college career. Experiencing full well the scope of instructors who don't even follow the script once class rolls around, I gave it a shot and drafted my own. The first dream course I've been thirsting to teach. What would it look like? A mock syllabus was born to give prospects an idea of what I'd teach, my teaching philosophy, and pedagogical approach. It definitely needs some editing but as my first and certainly not last, it is dear to me. And it is one of the first milestones of this path of mine.
And my semester master plan on Black Women in Horror Cinema is in the works!
Teaching Philosophy: I believe the classroom is a space where learning is reciprocal. There is just as much I can learn from you as you can learn from me. I blend lecture and open discussions with the backdrop of both personal/experiential and researched knowledge on the topics at hand. I focus on the development of critical thinking skills while engaging with text and the translation of that articulation into well-researched, thoughtful writing assignments.
Class Participation: It is important that you read each weekly assignment given so that you are prepared to provide thorough input on the weekly topic based in your opinions and perspectives. How much input you provide is not important because I understand that some express themselves better through writing. What is important is the quality of what you present when a topic in particular inspires you to participate. However, if you do not participate in class discussions at all, it will impact your grade. I do expect at least some attempt at class participation, but don’t feel forced. Participate when some aspect of the course material moves you to do so. I want to promote a safe environment where everyone’s participation is respected and valued.
Recreational Terror: Women and the Pleasures of Horror Film Viewing by Isabel Cristina Pinedo
Post-9/11 Horror In American Cinema by Kevin J. Wetmore
Readings: Douglas Kellner. “Cultural Studies, Multiculturalism and Media Culture”
Christopher Sharrett. “The Horror Film in Neoconservative Culture” in Horror Film Reader
Readings: Philip Brophy. “Horrality – The Textuality of Contemporary Horror Films”
Robin Wood. “An Introduction To The American Horror Film”
Cristina Pinedo. “Chapter One: Recreational Terror and the Postmodern Elements of the Contemporary Horror Film” in Recreational Terror, p. 9
Week 3: Contemporary Horror Film Perspectives
Readings: Ian Conrich. “Seducing the Subject: Freddy Krueger, Popular Culture and the Nightmare on Elm Street Films” in Horror Film Reader, p. 223
Kendall Philips. “Halloween (1978)”
Steven Schneider. “Monsters as (Uncanny) Metaphors: Freud, Lakoff, and the Representation of Monstrosity in Cinematic Horror” in Horror Film Reader, p. 167
Matt Becker. “A Point of Little Hope: Hippie Horror Films and the Politics of Ambivalence”
Robin Wood. “Neglected Nightmares” in Horror Film Reader, p. 111
Readings: Vera Dika. “The Stalker Film, 1978-81”
Sarah Trencansky. “Final Girls and Terrible Youth: Transgression in 1980s Slasher Horror”
L.J. DeGraffenreid. “What Can You Do in Your Dreams? Slasher Cinema as Youth Empowerment”
Carol J. Clover. “Her Body, Himself: Gender in the Slasher Film”
Barbara Creed. “Horror and the Monstrous-Feminine: An Imaginary Abjection”
Pinedo. “Chapter Three:…And Then She Killed Him: Women and Violence in the Slasher Film” in Recreational Terror p. 69
Readings: Pinedo. “Chapter Five: Race Horror” in Recreational Terror p. 111
Aviva Briefel & Sianne Ngai. “’How much did you pay for this place?’ Fear, Entitlement, and Urban Space in Bernard Rose’s Candyman” in Horror Film Reader p. 281
Readings: Ernest Mathijs. “AIDS References in the Critical Reception of David Cronenberg: ‘It May Not Be Such a Bad Disease after All’”
Janet Staiger. “Taboos and Totems: Cultural Meanings of The Silence of the Lambs”
Readings: ***Focus on Paper***
Readings: Various handouts TBD
Readings: Various handouts TBD
Readings: In Wetmore’s Post 9/11 Horror in American Cinema
“’Because you were home’: Anonynmous and Random Death” p. 81
“’Torture Porn’ and What It Means To Be American” p. 95
“They Won’t Stay Dead: The Ghosts, Zombies and Vampires of 9/11” p. 153
Readings: Hannah Neurotica. “Horror Show: Women Horror Directors To Watch”
Emila Javanica. “An Ode To Female Horror Directors”
Martha Lauzen. “The Celluloid Ceiling: Behind-the-Scenes Employment of Women on the Top 250 Films of 2011”
Readings: Wetmore. “Horrific Nostalgia: Remaking the Slasher Film” in Post 9/11 Horror in American Cinema p. 192