Cover your eyes – another frightening course emerges from the crypt

Seriously scary

Have posted before about some rather leftfield programmes, including a zombie course at the University of Baltimore and, more recently, a course covering Lady Gaga. Also previously looked here at the launch of an MA in Beatles Studies and the offer of a degree in Northern Studies as well as offering a podcast on “bonkers or niche” degrees. But now, not for the faint-hearted, there is a new MA in horror and transgression at Derby.

Bit of a shocker?

BBC News reports that students will learn about the history of horror on screen and in books while the transgression part of the course will focus on “films and literature with disturbing and taboo themes”:


Students at the University of Derby are being offered a taste of the dark side with a new degree in horror.

Ghosts, serial killers and vampires will all feature in the university’s new postgraduate MA in horror and transgression.

The one-year course, which is aimed at would-be film-makers and writers, will examine all aspects of the genre.

British horror author and director Clive Barker has given the degree his backing and hopes to take a class.

It’s a novel proposition in an area that does seem under-explored. The university has had pretty widespread media coverage for this. Let’s hope it doesn’t scare away prospective students (sorry).

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Another daft course? Sociology goes Gaga

Or is this a case of academia at the cutting edge of contemporary culture?

Have posted before about slightly unusual programmes, including a zombie course at the University of Baltimore. Anyway, this time it’s Lady Gaga at the University of South Carolina. According to a story in the Washington Post also picked up by the BBC, the University will be offering a serious course on this most serious of topics:

The course will examine how exactly Lady Gaga managed to become so famous so quickly. Right now, the pop diva has more then 10 million Facebook fans and 6 million Twitter followers. (And yet again she is one of the year’s most popular Halloween costumes.)

“What is important about the course is it isn’t a musicology course,” Deflem told the Daily Gamecock. “It also isn’t a literary criticism course. It’s not a poetry course. It’s not like a dance course. It’s not an art course. It’s distinctly sociological.”

And not before time.