Below, please find syllabi for our October 29th discussion and lecture. Typically these resources are posted 2 weeks in advance.
Theory, Criticism, and Society: 10/2018 – 3/2019
During this semester, we’ll explore ideas from theory and criticism focusing on art, literature, music, and culture, with the further intention of applying such ideas to the creation and organization of society. Our goal is to deepen our understanding of theory and criticism, and to broaden our perspective of the world we live in—and the possibilities open to us.
This discussion addresses the essay “Her Body, Himself” by Carol Clover (reprinted in her book Men, Women, and Chainsaws). First, we will be discussing some of her critiques of other horror scholars like Robin Wood and how her gendered analysis of horror differs from their standard psychoanalytic account. Then, we will analyze the various tropes that Clover addresses through the essay: killer, terrible place, weapons, victims, final girl, and shock. We will end with her analysis of “the body” and embodiment within the slasher film. Through this discussion, we will be tackling several questions, such as: Is the final girl a positive representation for women, or is she insufficient enough to address the gender-based violence present within slasher narratives? Moreover, what do you make of the topic of virginity and Clover’s insistence that it is the key to the final girl’s survival? Finally, what examples of “slasher” style films that have come out in recent years that might complicate this analysis?