The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies is a masterclass organization named after the Miskatonic University in H.P. Lovecraft’s stories (first appearing in “Herbert West – Reanimator”). Mostly run by volunteers, the classes are created and taught by writers, scholars, directors, critics and more, and designed to appreciate the considerable history and culture of horror. The institute was founded in 2010 by film writer Kier-La Janisse (“House of Psychotic Women”) in Winnepeg, Canada, later moving to Montreal and expanding to include London and NYC branches. The Los Angeles branch, launched in 2018, is located at the Philosophical Research Society in Los Feliz.
The Spring 2021 Semester (fully online for now) will begin on January 28th for L.A. with “Seeing and Feeling Japanese Horror: Scopophilia and Claustrophilia in Edogawa Rampo,” under instructor Seth Jacobowitz. The full schedule includes classes on Italian horror comics, the legend of Walpurgisnacht, and trans and gender-non-conforming bodies in horror films.
Before then, you can catch “Enchanting Technology: Making, Hacking, and The Occult Imagination” this Monday, December 21st at 7:30pm with instructor Peter Bebergal:
“Peter will stage the fantastic with film clips, photographs, and sound recordings. Topics include: The legend of the golem; automata and the uncanny valley; magic lanterns and natural magic; spirit photography; electronic voice phenomena; and the dreamachine. The course will propose that belief in the supernatural is not required to be enchanted. Technology provides means through which we can activate that part our imagination. Hacking is a state of mind.”
Admission to each online class is $10 or you can buy a full semester pass for $40. You can also buy a Global Pass for $90 to access all the classes at each branch, but it’s worth noting that you have to watch the classes live regardless of time zone; they’re not available to save or download.
Image via The Miskatonic Institute website