Hello and welcome to this weekend’s amazing classes! As always, you can sign up for free here.
On Saturday, we are joined by Maria DeBlassie to talk about ‘The Legacy of the Occult Detective’
This class outlines the legacy of the occult detective, from the origin of the archetype in the Victorian era to the monster-of-the-week TV shows and their fandoms.
Birthed from the Spiritualism movement and the parallel development of gothic and detective fiction, this archetypal figure is frequently used in contemporary culture as a way to simultaneously contain or demystify the unknown and acknowledge its vastness.
This class will explore this social tension—wanting to make the paranormal normal while at the same time seeking to make the mundane magical—as well as how this subgenre unmasks the dark side of social conventions, psychological oppression, and society’s unrelenting desire to make the intangible tangible.
It seems like no small coincidence that the occult detective develops in direct contrast to—or as a result of—the Post-Enlightenment Era’s emphasis on reason, much like the origin of the gothic. What then, is the place or purpose of the paranormal in a post-industrial, post-enlightenment world of logic? Why does this archetypal figure continue today in the realm of urban fantasy and horror fiction and monster-of-the-week TV shows?
This Sunday, we are joined by Christin Liberty on ‘The (Haunted) House of Atreus’
The talk will include a summary of the genealogy of the mythical House of Atreus, including some direct and indirect influences on Gothic media. Then a brief introduction on Greek theater conventions followed by a close reading on three passages from Aeschylus’ Agamemnon that highlight the gothic reading of it. Finally, summing up with a recap of the rest of the Oresteia and recommended further reading or viewing.
There are content warnings for mentions rape, incest, pedophilia, suicide, cannibalism, and murder, many of these involving children. Passing mentions only, there won’t be descriptive detail, but they all come up.