Course Description

"Rotating topics explore contemporary concepts in psychoanalysis and their interdisciplinary applications to creative processes and products in a variety of fields in communication and the arts. Topics include: Dreaming: The Self and the Play of Imagination; The Couch and the Silver Screen: Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Cinema; Psychoanalysis and Children’s Literature; and Memoir, Autobiographical Fiction, and the Psychodynamics of Self-Inquiry. May be repeated for credit if topics differ."

Summer 2024 Topics:

Section 005: Intimate Horrors

The horrifying is oftentimes uncomfortably close, even familiar. Alongside theoretical discussions of the Gothic novel, psychoanalysis, aesthetics, media, and genre, this course examines the unsettling effects and affects of what makes our skin crawl. Organized by different forms of horror rather than chronologically, this course aims to bring together otherwise disparate texts, in order to theorize how specific affective investments and aesthetic responses are produced through these works, across periods and media. Psychoanalytic concepts and literary critical terms like the "uncanny" and the "double" will provide us with productive entry-points through which to explore various topics, such as: gender and narrative conventions of victimhood, the relationship between ideology and modes of violence, the dread and marginalization of difference, and the ways in which subjective life and its precarious survival can be read both politically and psychologically. Students will develop an understanding of basic psychoanalytic concepts and how they can be applied to analyze texts, as well as how they can be critiqued and amended. Students will also be introduced to basic film and literary theory as well as discourses on Gothic literature, genre, and its contemporary legacies. This course will teach students how to closely read and critically engage with literary texts, films, and theory.


This course is available for undergraduate credit. Students must possess a high school diploma and must be an adult age 18 or older to participate.

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