I am writing this under an appreciable mental strain, since by tonight I shall be no more. I must relay this information because I fear, in its absence, you will not understand the true nature of the evil I have encountered. You see, this evil is spreading. It’s rapidly gestated from the germ of morbid fascination into full-fledged shadow conspiracy. What began as a chthonian congregation of genre devotees proselytizing the dark gospel in Winnipeg is now a cimmerian cloud engulfing the rest of the world in its madness; first, it moved to Montreal, then it conquered London, and now it’s poised to take New York.
What is this evil I speak? The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies.
Founded in March of 2010 by writer and programmer Kier-La Janisse, the Institute is poised to expand to Brooklyn’s Morbid Anatomy Museum this September with a number of courses steeped in horror history. They range from analysis of the arcane writings of Jack Ketchum and H.P. Lovecraft to tours through corporeal manifestations of horror in 1970s gay erotic literature and the city of New York itself.
I was able to secure but a few pages from their manifesto, and I display them below so you might now fully appreciate what the Miskatonic Institute represents:
THE MISKATONIC INSTITUTE OF HORROR STUDIES
OPENS NEW YORK BRANCH AT MORBID ANATOMY MUSEUM
With successful branches in London and Montreal, The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies makes its first stateside stop at Brooklyn’s Morbid Anatomy Museum with a pilot semester of horror film, literature and pop culture classes, running from September through December 2016 and featuring classes by some of the most renowned voices in horror film, fiction and criticism.
Named for the fictional university in H.P. Lovecraft’s literary mythos, The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies is a community-based organization that offers university-level horror history and theory classes for people of all ages. The Miskatonic is a non-profit endeavour through which established horror writers, directors, scholars and programmers/curators celebrate horror history and culture with a unique blend of enthusiasm and critical perspective.
The semester kicks off with a “Live From Miskatonic” presentation of horror author Jack Ketchum (OFF SEASON, THE GIRL NEXT DOOR) in conversation with Miskatonic founder Kier-La Janisse, followed in October with a masterclass from Dennis Paoli (co-writer, RE-ANIMATOR, FROM BEYOND) on adapting the “unfilmable” work of our namesake, HP Lovecraft, for the screen. In November, Maitland McDonagh (BROKEN MIRRORS, BROKEN MINDS: THE DARK DREAMS OF DARIO ARGENTO) talks about the interesting cross-pollination of genre tropes and vintage gay pulp fiction, and we close out the season with longtime horror journalist Michael Gingold taking students on a trip through the New York City of horror film and television, complete with an interactive component. See below for the full class descriptions.
The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies was founded by film writer and programmer Kier-La Janisse in March of 2010. After existing in embryonic form at Aqua Books in Winnipeg, Canada, Miskatonic moved to Montreal’s Blue Sunshine Psychotronic Film Centre in June 2010. Since 2013 Miskatonic Montreal has been co-directed by Kristopher Woofter and Mario DeGiglio-Bellemare, while Janisse teamed up with UK-based film scholar and Electric Sheep founder/editor-in-chief Virginie Sélavy to launch Miskatonic London in January 2015 – which has gone on to enjoy lectures from the likes of genre luminaries Kim Newman, Stephen Thrower, Jasper Sharp, Mark Gatiss, John Hough, Daniel Bird and more. Miskatonic NYC is a pilot program for the fall of 2016, under the co-direction of Kier-La Janisse, Marc Walkow and Samuel Zimmerman.
The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies – NYC
Fall 2016 Pilot Semester: monthly classes from September to December 2016
Dates: 21 September, 20 October, 17 November, 8 December
Venue: Morbid Anatomy Museum
Address: 424-A 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Prices: Individual classes $12 / $40 full fall semester ticket