This course examines the relationship between race, gender, and horror in literature, film, and television from the Americas. Although the genre has often relied on racist stereotypes and anxieties, horror has also proven a remarkably powerful means for writers and filmmakers of color to reflect on historical traumas and contemporary issues—from lynching and land dispossession to police brutality and gentrification—as well as imagine forms of survival and resistance. In order to understand how horror functions in this way, we will consider its history, tropes, forms, and subgenres while also engaging with current scholarship in the fields of Black, Indigenous, Latin American, and feminist studies.

Focusing on the work of Black and Indigenous creators, we will analyze fiction by Victor LaValle, Octavia Butler, Tananarive Due, Brenda Lozano, and Stephen Graham Jones; films such as Candyman, Nanny, Nope, Sorry to Bother You, Blood Quantum, The Devil’s Knot, and La Llorona; and television shows like Lovecraft Country and The Changeling.