CHASS Connect: 2009-2010 Sequences

(Fulfills Literature, Additional Humanities, and Fine Arts)

These three courses explore "haunted" sites. Through discussions of the shifting ideas about the supernatural, you will analyze how "haunting" and "horror" reveal the traumas which still terrify us today.

Fall 2009
Professor Raheja

How do people remember the past? How does memory and amnesia haunt the present and future? Through a discussion of the supernatural, ghosts, genealogy, DNA testing, and ethnography, we will examine how literary and visual culture narratives function as "haunted" sites where the past is negotiated, remembered, and reimagined. The public service announcements, documentaries, and films we will watch will mediate between various forms of social death; violent and traumatic pasts; and the cultural, literary, and political ghosts that continue to haunt African American and Native American texts and contexts.

Winter 2010
Professor McGarry
Haunted Histories

This course examines mysticism, magic, and modern religion in the United States from the 17th century to the present. We will be exploring shifting ideas of the supernatural as a means to trace the blurred line between religion and secularism, science and magic, the living and the dead. Through an examination of ghost stories, psychoanalytic case studies, spirit photography, as well as historical and detective fiction, we will ask how taking haunting seriously might open up new ways of writing history, reimagining the present, and living with the past as both memory and harrowing presence.

Spring 2010
Professor Duong
Asian Horror: En/Gendering Ghosts and the Supernatural in Film

This course focuses on the genre of horror within Asian cinemas. We will work to enlarge the idea of horror as we know it in the Hollywood context and more specifically explore Asian notions of the supernatural world. We will examine the figurations of ghosts and spirits in films from Thailand, Japan, Viet Nam, Korea, and Hong Kong. Studying across multiple regions will allow us to probe how gender, sexuality, and class function in relation to the traumatic pasts that continue to haunt and terrify us today.