get out ucla college course

Things We Saw Today: Now You Can Take an Online Version of That Get Out-Inspired College Seminar

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Last fall, UCLA held a new class, titled “Sunken Place: Racism, Survival, and Black Horror Aesthetic.” As you can probably tell, the course was inspired by Jordan Peele’s Get Out, and descriptions had us bubbling over with envy. The course is taught through the African Americans Studies department and uses Peele’s film as its central thesis touchstone while discussing other films and works of art by black artists and how “this subset of horror genre binds elements of history, sociology, politics, African-based religions such as Vodun/Vodou, and morality tales to create mirror through which to view true-life struggles facing black population.”

The course was taught by Prof. Tananarive Due and her husband, author Steven Barnes. Due told i09 that this course attracted about double the number of students she’s had in her most popular Afrofuturism class–and that was before Jordan Peele decided to drop by. This spring, they say they had the same number enroll. The two have taught classes before over webinar, so they realized they should probably just go ahead and offer this one online as well. And it’s not just open to UCLA students, but to anyone.

From i09,

When asked who might be the ideal people to take the Sunken Place seminar, Barnes singled out three populations. “One is just the fans who want to understand and have a wider context and deeper understanding of the roots of horror, black horror in America, and our transition from being the monsters in Birth of a Nation to being the ones who fight the monsters. That’s an amazing, heroic journey that we have taken in this country,” he began. “We also want to be a resource for teachers of black horror to provide them with context, to deepen them, so that they can in turn reach out and touch other people. But also, we want to impact the next generation of the creators of black horror.”

 Note that this is not a free online event; this is a full, university-level, six-week seminar. (It also comes with a second “bonus” screenwriting class.) The course began on January 13th, but you can still sign up (here) and all previously held classes are available for replay.

Have a great weekend, you scholarly beauties!

(image: Universal)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.