English R1B

Reading and Composition: Haunted Nation: Studies of American Horror

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
16 Spring 2021 Cho, Jennifer
TTh 5-6:30

Book List

García, Cristina: Dreaming in Cuban; James, Henry: Turn of the Screw; Kingston, Maxine Hong: The Woman Warrior; Morrison, Toni: Beloved

Other Readings and Media


Supplementary readings will be provided in physical or digital course reader; Get OutThe Terror: Infamy




Why do monsters, ghosts, and other supernatural embodiments continue to haunt us? What feeds our cultural desires and refusals to be “spooked” by otherworldly visitors who point to unfinished business and unresolved crises? This course examines the ways in which the horror genre – both in its conventional appearance and in its more fluid interpretations – remains an enduring form in the American literary and cultural imagination. In addition to turning to earlier iterations of “horror” (Mary Shelley, Herman Melville, Edgar Allen Poe, Henry James, H.P. Lovecraft) and more contemporary narratives of haunting (possible texts: BelovedThe Woman WarriorDreaming in Cuban, Get Out, and The Terror: Infamy), we will consider popular and critical theorizations of the monstrous and the spectral. In the process, we will explore how the haunted and those who haunt direct our attention to painful, subterranean histories, underlying social anxieties and/or the possibilities of reconciliation and new futures. Students’ own texts produced in the class will also be of primary study and import; regular written responses to readings, shorter essays, and writing-focused workshops will eventually prepare students to compose an argument-based research essay around a horror narrative of their choice.


Back to Semester List