Course Description

This class will orient students to a variety of critical approaches - literary, anthropological, historical, sociological - on the study of gender in a genre (the modern Horror film) that is enormously popular and more than likely entirely familiar to these students. In this class we will address the following questions around cultural discourses of gender and bodies:

  1. How does popular culture conceive of "appropriate" femininity and masculinity?
  2. What "happens" to those who deviate from these norms and how is such a deviation dramatized in horror films and popular culture more generally?
  3. How does mainstream culture work to co-opt/mobilize/restrain gendered rebellion through its representations of purity (such as virginity and "whiteness"), adulthood (such as menarche and/or other signs of physical "maturity") and maternity (such as childbirth and female sacrifice)?

GenEd Information: Currently approved for the IU Bloomington GenEd AH requirement. See the GenEd Website for more information.

Catalog Information: COLL-S 103 FRESHMAN SEMINAR IN A & H

IFS course instructor photo

Course Instructor: Jennifer Maher

Jennifer Maher is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Gender Studies where she regularly teaches classes on popular culture, feminist theory, and reproductive justice. She is a frequent contributor to "Bitch: Feminist Response to Popular Culture" magazine, and a variety of academic and popular venues and has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize in literature. Her most recent obsessions include graphic novel memoirs, especially the blog "Hyperbole and a Half." She is the proud parent of a female pit-bull mix, Nikki, and a human boy, Jack.

Blood, Babies, and Chainsaws: Femininity and Horror in Popular Culture

Blood, Babies, and Chainsaws: Femininity and Horror in Popular Culture: Courses: Intensive Freshman Seminars: Indiana University Bloomington