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Monsters in Film and Literature

ENGL 104.401
instructor(s):
fulfills requirements:
Sector 5: 19th Century Literature of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major
Elective of the Standard Major

 

Why do monsters have such lasting popular appeal in film and literature?  From medieval dragons to intergalactic aliens, 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: Nosferatu, Frankenstein, The Fly, 28 Weeks Later, The Elephant Man, Godzilla.  Authors may include: Mary Shelley, Robert Louis Stevenson, H.P. Lovecraft, and Octavia Butler.  This course includes an introduction to film analysis and readings in cultural studies and literary theory. There are no prerequisites.

Film screenings are scheduled weekly on Tuesdays 7-9:00 pm.  English 104.401 is cross listed with CIME 104.401 and COML 104.401.  Assignments will include quizzes and in-class exams, two 4-5 page essays, and a collaborative research project on a monster of your choice.