This month of August do not miss a unique seminar that will give you a lot to think about
We tend to associate Horror Films and Gothic Literature with Halloween, stormy nights, warm blankets on the sofa, popcorn, sweets, or maybe none of that. Perhaps you are one of those who prefer to go to the cinema with a friend, feeling frightened in the safety of the seat.
In any case, when you are a true horror fan, the season of the year doesn't matter for you to enjoy your favourite genre.
For horror researcher and professor at Ankara University in Turkey, Tugce Kutlu, and for me, any excuse is good enough to enjoy a good horror or scary film.
That is why after a few months absorbed in our routines, we decided to meet again, this time to offer a seminar for those who share our passion for horror and the gothic, called The Shadowy Truth Behind Modern Horror And Gothic Trends.
Next I am going to explain why you might be interested in this seminar on Horror and the Gothic and how it can help you on your path of self-recognition.
The magnificent Gary Oldman in Bram Stoker's Dracula produced by Francis Ford Coppola.
WHY HORROR AND THE GOTHIC?
The first time I saw Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula, it was in the cinema. I was 18 when the film came to Barcelona.
It was neither Halloween, nor was it cold, nor did my friend and I buy popcorn. We were just two horror movie geeks wanting to experience new emotions with the new production of the vampire, probably the most charismatic classic monster of all time.
This aspect of familiarity can be a double-edged sword, since the success, of the film in this case, depends on your expectations. Luckily for us, Coppola's version far exceeded those expectations. In fact, we liked it so much that we even watched it twice in a row, not being bothered about the subtitles. We watched it in original version to enjoy the authenticity of the voices, not to lose a thing in the translation and, above all, to erase the horrible mistimes between lips and words. Also, in my case it was a perfect opportunity to practise my English listening.
What I could not imagine at the time was that one day I would graduate in English Philology and that, after years of teaching hundreds of people to overcome their linguistic fears, I would also end up using my passion for horror films and gothic novels as a tool. of self-awareness and self-help.
The road has been long and tumultuous since then. This is because, although these two genres are well known by many people, their knowledge, as a source of academic study within literature and psychology, is still quite limited and reduced to a few groups.
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That is why, after various collaborations for my YouTube channel, Tugce and I plan to bring these two genres, so interconnected to each other, closer to those who want to have a deeper and more academic vision of Horror and the Gothic and thus give you answers to your concerns.
In this seminar, which will take place on 24th August at 6:00 p.m. Spanish time (UTC+2), we will help you learn about the origins of Horror and the Gothic, how they have evolved to this day and what this evolution tells us about our psyche, what we can learn about our deepest fears and dreads through these genres, what elements are still intact from the origins and how we deal with new fears, especially related to artificial intelligence.
HOW CAN ENTERTAINMENT BECOME A TOOL FOR SELF-DEVELOPMENT?
In our primary survival instinct, the threat of disappearance, physical change or mutation are latent and inherent existencial fears, that unfortunately we know very well in some cases, especially in recent years.
Although humanity has always felt threatened by external elements of all kinds, today the threat also comes from overinformation and as a consequence of thinking about everything that could happen to us if...
However, one of the advantages of this overload of information is familiarization with scientific terminology that helps us better understand our psychic functioning as well as the world around us.
An example of this, and in accordance with what we are talking about today, knowing that "our reptilian brain" is that part that is activated by threats and therefore keeps us safe on many occasions from danger, helps us explain why exposure to horror movies, or fear and gothic literature have some benefits.
Horror researcher and Associate Professor of Literature and Media at Aarhus University, Mathias Clasen, in his TEDx talk Lessons from a terrified horror researcher, tells us how horror entertainment in all its different forms "take advantage" of that primordial "biological defense mechanism" that he calls "the evolved fear system" to tell us about our relationship with monsters, or external threats.
Clasen elaborates how that ancient fear that originates when looking at certain immortal monsters does not stop scaring us, since they have an aspect of universality that have become "the reflect of ancestral threats." He also tells us that the monsters that come from horror "don't have to be realistic to scare us," they just have to "engage with the evolved fear system" and "have qualities that match or exceed those of ancient dangers."
Writers such as Nichole Johnson tell us about the reasons why exposure to, and later understanding of, this type of fiction is beneficial in keeping us emotionally balanced. She explains this in her article How horror movies can help people overcome real-world trauma, in which she tells us the following:
“For me, horror movies remain an invaluable coping tool. The effect is a primary tenet of what’s called exposure therapy — forcing ourselves to face fear as a way to overcome it.”
As we can read in this article, full of excellent references, by the way, from a case study in the 1990s, the researchers summarized that:
“The modern horror film serves many of the same functions for the adolescent that the traditional fairy tale serves for the younger child.”
The Crypt Keeper welcoming you
Thus, exposure to horror, as long as it is in a healthy way and originates from our own curiosity, can teach us many lessons and help us find balance, especially if we do it from the Jungian lens, since it offers an invitation to "individuation".
Understanding "individuation" as the process in which the individual is capable of embracing all his/her qualities -negative and positive- in a dance of opposites, so typical of the genres I am talking about in this article and so necessary to avoid neuroses.
But we will talk about all this and more in the seminar on 24th August.
In this post today I have told you why, for fans of horror and gothic literature, any time is a good time to enjoy your passion.
As an example of where this attraction to Horror and Gothic has led me personally, I have told you about the first time I saw Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula in the cinema.
I have also told you how the idea of my joint seminar with the professor and horror researcher, Tugce Kutlu, called The Shadowy Truth Behind Modern Horror And Gothic Trends, arose, where we will give you a brief tour on Horror and the Gothic so that you have a much more holistic vision of these genres and see their benefits in both a personal and professional way.
I have also shown you a couple of examples in which other scholars and fans of these genres explain the science behind exposure to Horror films and some of its benefits.
And finally I have given you a few small details about the Jungian connection, and the keys to reach balance, especially in transitions.
As always, I hope this entry has been of your interest and above all that we will see each other very soon in our free seminar: The Shadowy Truth Behind Modern Horror And Gothic Trends.
If you are interested in coming to our free seminar, just click on the following link and we will send you all the information.
Thanks for reading,
See you very soon!
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