This course seeks to uncover how a text transcends itself into becoming a “cult classic.” What is it that separates these from classics, or what we often refer to as the canon? Cult classics – whether novels, films, or pieces of music – often begin as obscure works that gain popularity among a specific group, first as a collective process of identity formation and later as an individual right of passage. Cult classics also tend to share a particular affinity for violence, horror, eroticism, and what H. P. Lovecraft calls “weirdness,” all of which we will map throughout the semester.
The primary aim of this course is to help students develop and improve the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and other disciplines. They will also gain practice in using the Oxford English Dictionary and other online research tools and print resources that support studies in the humanities. Students will learn basic information literacy skills and models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.
Available upon request.
Detailed evaluations with numerical summaries available upon request.