When we refer to a film as a “horror movie” or a “musical”, we classify it according to genre. Typically, we don’t need to be taught these categories; we simply absorb them as we grow up. This makes them a potentially dangerous kind of knowledge, so it is important that we examine their conventions and parameters. Moreover, studying popular cycles of a genre at any given moment can tell us quite a lot about that moment in cultural history—metaphors of what audiences were scared of, what they were hoping for, and what they were anxious about. The course will also include a unit on the concept of style, in which we will determine what exactly is, and is not, Camp.