002 Instructor: Bullins     TR    12:30 PM – 1:50 PM

The “King of Horror”: Novels and Film/Television Adaptations of Stephen King

Stephen King is a giant in American literary fiction. His novels have sold over 350 million copies, he has written over 200 short stories, and dozens of his works have been turned into successful (and unsuccessful) film and television adaptations.

This course will look at a small selection of King’s novels and stories spanning his entire career and pair them with their respective film adaptions. Students will engage and consider both literary and filmic texts with questions such as:

· Where does the difficulty in adapting a novel or story for film/TV lie?

· What themes are recurring in King’s work?

· What are the parameters for a “successful” adaptation?

· How does King’s work speak to the wider American cultural zeitgeist?

· How has King has managed to move from being considered a low pop culture fast-food writer (he’s called himself the “Big Mac” of writers) to becoming accepted as a true Literary Author worthy of being reviewed on the front page of the NYT Book Review?

· What does King’s writing ethos presented in his work On Writing say about his style and approach to the craft of writing?

· How does King navigate gender in his works? Does his position and characterization of gender change over time? Does it do so for better or for worse?

Additionally, students will be tasked with reading critical work that pairs with both novels and film adaptions. We will explore critical responses to the texts, theoretical approaches to understanding King’s work, and how it fits into the wider tradition of American horror.