Are You Scared Yet? - British Horror

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Are you scared yet? – British Horror

I recognize terror as the finest emotion and so I will try to terrorize the reader. But if I find that I cannot terrify, I will try to horrify, and if I find that I cannot horrify, I’ll go for the gross-out. (Stephen King)


Horror presents its readers and viewers with the opportunity to confront one’s own fears and experience the guilty pleasure of indulging in other people’s fears. But it is not only that. As Stephen King points out, there are more than just “scary stories”. In fact, there is a broad variety of texts that make our skin crawl and our spines chill. In the course of this seminar, we will deal with a great variety of texts and topics. Starting with one of the most popular horror stories of all time, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, we will work our way through time and culture and come across the great diversity that is horror. Is there a difference between scary stories written by male or female authors? Can horror addressing children really be considered terrifying? Just as we will discuss “scary movies”, we will look at funny or even camp horror. Maybe there is even a development that leads away from “grossing-out” audiences and reinforces very basic scares that will no longer seem fictitious (who has ever seen zombies walk the earth?) but very close to home … Do you dare the scare?


Please be aware that there will be additional screenings after the seminar (Tuesdays, 14-16h) and that some of the movies we will watch are rated “R” (FSK 18)! Students should buy the following copies: Bram Stoker: Dracula (Norton Critical Edition; ISBN: 978-0393970128) and Clive Barker: The Hellbound Heart (ISBN: 978-0061452888). Please buy the novels and start reading them as soon as possible! A reader will be made available at the beginning of the semester at the copyshop below the “Sonnendeck”