© 2016

Teaching Stephen King

Horror, the Supernatural, and New Approaches to Literature

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Why Teach King?

    1. Alissa Burger
      Pages 1-7
  3. Variations on Classic Horror Tropes

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 9-9
    2. Alissa Burger
      Pages 11-25
    3. Alissa Burger
      Pages 27-41
    4. Alissa Burger
      Pages 43-58
    5. Alissa Burger
      Pages 59-70
  4. Real Life Horror

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 71-71
    2. Alissa Burger
      Pages 73-85
    3. Alissa Burger
      Pages 87-101
    4. Alissa Burger
      Pages 103-117
  5. Playing with Publishing

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 119-119
    2. Alissa Burger
      Pages 121-135
    3. Alissa Burger
      Pages 137-151
    4. Alissa Burger
      Pages 153-169
    5. Alissa Burger
      Pages 171-175
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 177-211

About this book


Teaching Stephen King critically examines the works of Stephen King and several ways King can be incorporated into the high school and college classroom. The section on Variations on Horror Tropes includes chapters on the vampire, the werewolf, the undead monster, and the ghost. The section on Real Life Horror includes chapters on King's school shooting novella Rage, sexual violence, and coming of age narratives. Finally, the section on Playing with Publishing includes chapters on serial publishing and The Green Mile, e-books, and graphic novels.


King Stephen horror Gothic literature pedagogy vampire werewolf monster ghost school shootings sexual violence coming of age/bildungsroman serial publishing e-books graphic novels novel school violence

About the authors

Alissa Burger is Associate Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at State University of New York, Delhi, USA.

Bibliographic information


"Teaching Stephen King is a tour guide through what is now fairly familiar terrain, but at her best Alissa Burger points us towards what we may have initially missed while reminding us of why we embarked on the journey in the first place. A great introduction to why Stephen King remains our best representative working in the gothic tradition even as his work forays into contemporary Hollywood cinema, graphic novels, and electronic publishing."

- Tony Magistrale, Professor of English, University of Vermont

"Alissa Burger has written a comprehensive, insightful and accessible study of Stephen King's voluminous, and mind-bogglingly popular, body of work. If you admire, teach or study King, you should read this book. If you are sceptical of whether King's work deserves to be studied and taught, then you should really read this book."

- Sean Moreland, Part-time Professor, University of Ottowa, Canada

"From her in-depth discussions of vampires and ghosts to school shootings and sexual violence, Alissa Burger provides an insightful analysis of the way Stephen King's massive output can provoke meaningful classroom discussions. Burger also brings critical discussions of King further up to date by drawing the complete range of King's work into her discussion—including his experiments with publishing, his contributions to graphic novels, and his adapted work—in ways that make it impossible to ignore King's continued relevance into the 21st century. The discussion of the shifting fortunes of Rage alone is worth a careful reading."

- Carl Sederholm, Department Chair, Cal, Comparitive Arts and Letters, Brigham Young University, USA

"Teaching Stephen King is a comprehensive analysis of many of King's works, particularly his recent compositions, and helps to bridge the gaps in scholarship that exist regarding the work of the 'Master of Horror.' Indeed, Dr. Burger has ventured into new territories and brings students, teachers, and scholars into original, well-researched, and exciting avenues of discussion. In short, this book is a must-read and reminds us just why Stephen King's writing is so valuable."

- Patrick McAleer, Faculty member, Inver Hills Community College, Minnesota, USA