Founded in 2010 and named for the fictional university in H.P. Lovecraft’s literary mythos, the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies is an international organization that offers university-level classes in horror history, theory and production, with branches in New York, London and Los Angeles, as well as hosting special events worldwide. Miskatonic is an endeavor through which established writers, directors, scholars and programmers/curators celebrate horror history and culture with a unique blend of enthusiasm and critical perspective, guided by a broad definition of horror that includes many horror-adjacent topics. Over the years Miskatonic has hosted talks by some of the genre’s most renowned filmmakers, performers and critical luminaries.
Now the Miskatonic Institute has announced a new Advisory Board to consult on the organization’s activities going forward. Miskatonic began assembling its Board in summer 2018, in anticipation of the September 2018 opening of its most recent location in Los Angeles, in Los Feliz’ storied occult school The University of Philosophical Research. This new partnership – in the very location where horror icon Bela Lugosi was married – signaled a new phase in the evolving story of the Miskatonic Institute. “Miskatonic has always existed as a small but thriving community of independent scholarship, run by a handful of dedicated individuals,” says Miskatonic founder Kier-La Janisse. “But as we move into this next phase, we want to take a step up. We want to ensure that Miskatonic carries itself forward with transparency and a clear commitment to its long term mandate, which is to eventually have a bricks-and-mortar school with internal accreditation. As such, we have established a new Advisory Board for Miskatonic to help guide us through this process, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the people who have joined us.”
The new Advisory Board includes director and producer Mick Garris (Masters of Horror, Nightmare Cinema), actress/producer Barbara Crampton (We Are Still Here, Re-Animator), director/producer Larry Fessenden (Depraved, The House of the Devil), author and critic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (Rape-Revenge Films: A Critical Study), filmmaker Buddy Giovinazzo (Combat Shock), lawyer and festival consultant Rodney Perkins, film programmer Heidi Honeycutt (Etheria Film Night), founder of Fantasia’s Frontieres Co-Production Market Stephanie Trepanier, Arrow Video acquisitions manager/disc producer Ewan Cant, film programmer Liane Cunje (TIFF, Overlook Film Festival), writer/director/producer Sean Hogan (The Devil’s Business, Future Shock: The Story of 2000AD) and Miskatonic founder Kier-La Janisse (House of Psychotic Women).
The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies still has two months of classes this semester before they break for the summer, including Howard S. Berger’s class ‘The Destructible Man’ about dummy-deaths on film (Los Angeles, April 11), Nuzo Onoh’s class on African horror fiction (London, April 11), a panel interrogating the impact of horror writer HP Lovecraft’s racism on his legacy with authors Matt Ruff (Lovecraft Country), Victor LaValle (The Ballad of Black Tom) and more (New York, April 16), British horror director Pete Walker in Conversation (Los Angeles, May 9) and more. You can see the full lineup on their website at www.miskatonicinstitute.com
Image: Miskatonic Institute