The Gendered Body: Horror and the Grotesque
What does the gendered body have to do with scary movies? This winter, students in the course The Gendered Body: Horror and the Grotesque will examine the connection between gender stereotypes and popular horror movies.
The online course, offered through the Rutgers University–New Brunswick Winter Session, will be taught December 22, 2017 – January 12, 2018 by J.B. Brager, horror flick enthusiast and longtime researcher of topics like chattel slavery and genocide.
“It’s interesting to trace how these very serious topics are dealt with in a genre that is often not taken seriously, and also to see how ideas that are sedimented through violence, like gendered and racinated stereotypes, are dealt with in horror films. They are often both very steeped in and very irreverent and resistant to the dominant ideas in a culture,” says Brager.
Because the course is fully online, students can take the course while home over the break, or while working. All of the films are available online through the Rutgers Library, and class discussion is conducted online. There is a library research component, however students will have access to online journal databases to complete the assignment.
Students will leave this course with a developed ability to conduct close reading, textual analysis, and intersectional analysis. They will be able to understand film and media theory concepts and apply them to their own viewing practice, and to confidently respond to writing about film.
Students shouldn’t be too scared to take this course. According to Brager, “when I picked the films for this course, I didn’t pick any films that I can’t watch. I’m a scaredy-cat, so I think that’s a pretty good gauge for whether or not the class will be too terrifying to take!”
This course counts towards an elective credit for Rutgers–New Brunswick students in the Women’s and Gender Studies major.