Studies in Film History: Season of the Witch: Female Monstrosity in Film (blended)

ENGL 3850
Section 02
Erick Burdock
3:00-4:15pm and 5:30-8:00pm
Physics Building 114 and Tate Hall 22
Course Description

Cross-listed with Film Studies and Women's and Gender Studies.

“Are you a good witch or a bad witch?” inquires Glinda the Good Witch of Dorothy in the film adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Dressed in opulent, bubblegum pink regalia, she contrasts the shabby, grotesque Wicked Witch of the West. These two characters form a binary between good and evil that we often see in literature and film, particularly in stories that include female monsters. To that end, they tend to establish normative behavior, as well as what falls outside the realm of acceptable and respectable. In this class, we will explore these boundaries. We will consider such topics as: the binary between good and evil, depictions and representations of witches, gender roles and performativity, and feminist and queer perspectives. Films will include The Wizard of Oz (1939), Rosemary’s Baby (1968),The Craft (1996), The VVitch (2015), and Suspiria (2018). Major assignments will include a close reading of a film, an analysis paper, and a multimodal final project.