The College of New Jersey: Adjunct Professor. Department of English. 2017 – present.
LIT499: Seminar in Research and Theory Victorian Gothic: Nature and the Monstrous Woman
The Victorian period, most notably the fin-de-siecle, is renowned for its Gothic figurations of grotesque monstrosities. However, while scholarship is abundant with emphasis on the Cartesian approach to bodily manifestations and fragmentation, there is an absence of focus on the monistic mind-body structure of the supposed female “monster,’ her causality and representation in Gothic narratives. Setting the course focus within the early-to-mid-Victorian era (1837-1871), we will explore how societal and environmental affectations impact popular rhetoric and shape the literature of the period. Examining both canonical and ephemeral texts, students will discover and critically analyze the relationship between social expectations, Nature, and such Gothic figures as criminals, madwomen, she-wolves, and witches.
FSP163: Scream Queens and “Final Girls”: Gender and the Horror Genre
Since the origin of the horror film, issues of gender and sexuality have been central to character creation and development. Most notably, women have been cast into dual roles as either the objectified victim or the ominous villain. Throughout the decades, social constructs and expectations of gender performativity affected the horror tropes and created a third role of ‘Final Girl’. This course not only explores the limited variations of the female protagonist but also traces the pivotal societal events that helped construct her role in popular film. While concentrating on Feminist Theory, this seminar also explores the social and cultural tensions represented in American horror films of the 20th and 21st centuries. The purpose of this course is to identify how the horror film is used as a site for understanding the position of women in society and the social fears entwined with her performativity.
FSP161: The Seduction of Horror and Human Behavior
For some people there is a distinct sensation that occurs when entranced by a favorite Horror movie, one that is riddled with questions such as, “What would I do in that situation?”, “How would I react differently and would that make me less human?” or “Why does this scare me?” This course examines modern Horror texts, secondary essays, and visual media in order to explore philosophies of the genre while analyzing human behavior in various, and disturbing, situations. Some of the primary texts include Stephen King’s The Shining, Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead graphic novels, and Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend. While examining these texts, this seminar focuses on such overarching questions as “Do reactionary decisions define what it is to be human?” and “What is the relationship between human identity, psychological reaction, and circumstantial influences?”.