Film Genre (Horror) - FI595

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Spring
View Timetable
5 30 (15) MS K Flint-Nicol







This module studies individual genres, which may vary across different academic terms (it may focus on the horror, science-fiction, western, musical, comedy, the noir or the gangster film, among others). It combines aesthetic and narrative analysis with the history of the genre. The theoretical framework draws from traditionally employed methods to study the genre in question (for example, psychoanalytical, postmodern or cognitive theory). The historical portion of the course examines the genre's growing commercial viability, the proliferation of subgenres, and the growing attention of academics. Topics include, but are not restricted to, gender politics, representations of sexuality, political commentary, allegory.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Total contact hours: 60
Private study hours: 240
Total study hours: 300

Method of assessment

Essay 1 (2000 words) (40%)
Essay 2 (3000 words) (60%)

Indicative reading

Rick Altman, Film/Genre, London, BFI, 1999.(ed.). Film Genre Reader III, Austin, U of Texas Press, 2004.
Kevin Heffernan, Ghouls, Gimmicks, and Gold: Horror Films and the American Movie Business, 1953-1968. Durham and London: Duke UP, 2004.
Barry Keith Grant (ed.), The Dread of Difference: Gender and the Horror Film. Ed. Barry Keith Grant. Austin: U of Texas Press, 2000.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
- Explore the narrative and stylistic characteristics of the genre in question;
- Critically analyse the studied genre by drawing from theories of genre, authorship, self-reflexivity and national allegory, as well as from reception theories and, when applicable, psychoanalytical, semiotic and/or cognitive approaches to the study of film;
- Understand the historical context that produced the studied generic tradition, contemplating the cultural, political and/or social frameworks that both inform the contemplated genre and are reflected on it;
- Understand the genre in relation to the modes of production, distribution and exhibition of the relevant film industry;
- Meditate on the tensions between uniqueness and repetition, artistic and commercial, artisanal and industrial, mainstream and marginal, classical and modern.

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