Dr. Fran Bender
From Cthulhu to Conan: Cosmic Tales of Horror & Fantasy
In the early 1930s, pulp-fiction writers H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard struck up a friendship that led to the creation of two new strands of American literature. Lovecraft's "Weird Tales" horrified his readers, presenting the Earth as a planet cut adrift, lost in "the midst of black seas of infinity"--a lonely planet besieged by Cthulhu, "the Great Old Ones," and a host of other malevolent alien entities. Howard's "Swords & Sorcery" stories recast the Earth's forgotten past, chronicling the rise and fall of imaginary empires during the savage age that followed the drowning of Atlantis.
We will read a number of short stories by Lovecraft and Howard, taking time to discuss their ideas about Horror and the Supernatural, Space and Time, History and Heroism. We will also consider the importance of the Cthulhu Mythos and Conan tales in our contemporary pop-culture marketplace of graphic novels, RPG, online gaming, black metal, and fantasy and horror films.
Note: Please check the schedule of classes for the most up-to-date information about meeting times, locations, and availability.
About the professor
Charles Sligh teaches courses in Victorian Literature and 20th-century Fantasy.