Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Jonathan Bush

Second Advisor

Summer Davis

Third Advisor

Meghann Meeusen


Horror as a genre tends to be overlooked by the public eye, especially when it comes to critical analysis and its value as literature or educational film. As a future English teacher, I have made it a mission to promote literacy, and horror has been a tool that has encouraged me to read, so I figured there must be some connection between the genre and the promotion of literacy. The thesis in whole is able to address why the horror genre tends to spark more interest in readers than other genres, highlighting that the genre is built to unite readers through a common emotion (fear and suspense).

The thesis also dives into different resources within the horror genre that have, especially in recent years, promoted diversity and have representation from a varied number of authors and characters that are from different backgrounds and cultures, representing the Black, Latinx, American Indian/ Indeginous, LGBTQ+, and other communities. It looks critically at stereotypes, and at affirming works that have created a new wave of welcomeness in the horror community.

The thesis then connects educational theory of student motivation to the genre of horror, and the purpose of horror media. From there, it addresses specific ways that horror can be used as an educational tool, such as pieces of critical media to be examined in an English classroom, or connecting horror to the public perception of the world in different time periods as a tool in a history classroom. It also addresses real world issues that are focused on in horror, such as climate change, increasing media usage, and the mental health crisis.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access