Why do monsters have such lasting popular appeal in film and literature? From medieval dragons to giant alien cars, monsters reveal our fascination with the supernatural and the grotesque, with scientific experimentation and the boundaries of what it means to be human. Every culture has its own way of representing the unknown and sublimating its deep-seated fears of contamination and invasion—often through the figure of the monster. In this course we will study films featuring a wide assortment of monsters and the literature that inspires and reproduces them across a range of genres, cultures, and time periods. Films may include: Dracula, Frankenstein, The Fly, 28 Weeks Later, The Elephant Man, The Host. Authors may include: Mary Shelley, Robert Louis Stevenson, H.P. Lovecraft, and Octavia Butler.
Film screenings are scheduled weekly on Monday nights. Assignments will include quizzes and in-class exams, two 5-7 page essays, and a collaborative research project on a monster of your choice.