The Fear of the Masses: How Humanity’s Most Basic Emotion Remains a Literary Focus through Time

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Arts and Sciences



Faculty Sponsor

Tom Hillard


The “The Fear of the Masses” presentation from the students of English 424: Gothic Literature will explore the literary representation of Western conceptions of fear since the beginning of the gothic novel. Our goal is to, through the study of the literature, help the audience understand the cultural relevance of fears that lurk within their 21st-century minds. In order to do this, we will create a poster that presents the progression of fear and the aesthetic changes in the gothic mode from its 18th-century inception to now. An application of these concepts will be presented with a companion board game that will titillate the audience with an interactive experience that uses our research and experience with fear-invoking literature and brings it home. Our project will require two posters and, ideally, a space for a table that we will use to set up the game.

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