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MFCO213 Media Genres


A detailed study of a particular media genre, or genres, such as film noir, science fiction, horror, the musical.

An introduction to theories of media genres and methods of genre analysis. We will begin with an overview of important questions in media genres, and go on to an in-depth study of the horror genre. We will investigate stylistic, thematic, and historical elements of horror to grapple with the complexities of the genre across media platforms. This paper is ideal both for Film and Media students, and for students in Humanities in general, in particular those studying narrative forms.

Paper title Media Genres
Paper code MFCO213
Subject Media, Film and Communication
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $913.95
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,073.40

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18 FIME or MFCO points
FIME 203
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Students may be admitted with approval from the Head of Department.
Teaching staff
Convenor and Lecturer: Dr Paul Ramaeker
Paper Structure

The paper begins with an overview of genre theory, including its key methods, issues, and debates. The paper then goes on to a theoretical and historical analysis of the horror genre.

Topics include:

  • The prehistory of horror as a media genre
  • The classical horror film
  • Science fiction and horror
  • The Gothic
  • European horror
  • Asian horror
  • Art-horror
  • The revisionist horror film: horror as a vehicle for social and political critique
  • The slasher film
  • Television horror
  • Postmodern horror
  • Digital and online horror


  • Tutorial Participation 10%
  • Short Essay 15%
  • Final Essay 25%
  • Final Examination 50%
Teaching Arrangements
Two lectures and one screening per week.
Readings will be available on Blackboard.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will

  • Describe major developments in genre theory
  • Understand important conventions and patterns in horror media both generally and in its historical variants
  • Understand the ways that horror media have been studied and interpreted from a variety of theoretical perspectives
  • Analyse media genre, and specifically the horror film, drawing on a range of methods
  • Understand key theoretical, methodological, and analytical issues raised by the study of media genre in general and horror in particular

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system

Film Screening

Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Wednesday 16:00-18:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Wednesday 15:00-15:50 28-34, 36-41
Thursday 15:00-15:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
T1 Thursday 16:00-16:50 30-32, 36, 38, 40