This week we’ve got very different classes going on! From art on Saturday to infectious diseases on Sunday… Have a look at the brief blurbs below and come sign up
On Saturday, we’re joined by ‘trie blasingame for ‘we’re all goblins here’
Join us for a casual jaunt through some of the history, art movements, and theoretical underpinnings that helped form contemporary gothic art and dark surrealism with an extended look at some of the different ways in which these art styles manifest and what they can communicate some of the artists that are included are camilla d’errico, wendy red star, chiharu shiota, beth cavener, lauren marx, alberto giacometti, francis bacon, brian froud, and zdzisław beksiński
On Sunday, we’re joined by Mitra Elgrail for a talk on ‘Infectious Diseases in Horror Fiction’
Infectious diseases have had an undeniably devastating effect on humanity for millennia. Despite their visible impact, infectious diseases are invisible in their transmission, and humanity’s knowledge of the mechanisms of infectious diseases often lags behind the palpable destruction caused by the spread of disease. Within this lacuna in knowledge (particularly in novel emerging diseases), the interpretations and assumptions that humans make about the cause and spread of disease tend to expose the worst of human nature. Even being presented with correct knowledge is not enough to guarantee ethical human behaviour in the presence of disease. The invisibility of transmission, the mystery surrounding disease, and the looming threat of death all make infectious disease a subject ripe for the horror genre.
My talk would explore the topic of infectious diseases within a sampler of horror literature and films, including in the context of vampires, zombies, historical plagues, and fictional emerging diseases. The treatment, containment, and cure of infectious diseases is a collective, multipronged endeavour, which forms a strong backdrop for telling a variety of stories about the most heroic and the most villainous deeds of humanity. This collectivist atmosphere also creates dramatic tension in which the actions of a single person can imperil or deliver large groups of people. I will discuss how horror fiction can serve as a mirror for society, encouraging reflection on how humanity’s approach to infectious diseases is revealing about who is valued and who is shunned in society. Science and medicine alone are not enough to halt the spread of disease: ensuring optimal behaviour requires introspection into the aspects of human nature that cause people to act sub-optimally in the face of disease. Horror fiction is a potent medium for exploring these unpleasant facets of human nature.