Announcement of Classes: Summer 2016

Reading & Composition: Manufactured Monsters

English N1B

Section: 1
Instructor: Diaz, Rosalind
Time: TTh 12-2
Location: 235 Dwinelle

Book List

Carmilla: A Critical Edition, Le Fanu: Sheridan; Turabian, Kate: A Manual for Writers; Wells, H. G.: The Island of Dr. Moreau


This course investigates monsters—from the stitched-together creatures of The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896) to present-day vampires, werewolves, body snatchers, and other frightening creatures of lore and literature. We will read two short novels (Dr. Moreau and Carmilla), watch the films Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Alien, and read a selection of short stories and articles. The material for this course will also include two student-nominated texts (one book and one film).

The monsters that we will investigate are "manufactured" in more than one sense of the word. Their minds and bodies are stitched together by mad scientists or transformed by a fateful bite, but they are also constructed and created socially. They emerge as monstrous because of the way in which they are portrayed. We will ask: what do a culture's fictional monsters suggest about what that culture fears and reviles? To come to grips with this question, we will practice critical habits of mind and draw on critiques from queer theory, feminism, disability studies, and critical race studies. We will also excavate the histories of particular monsters and consider the specific historical contexts in which they appear and reappear.

(Please note: While it's in the nature of monster fiction to be gory and terrifying, we will do what we can to accommodate those who strongly dislike violence and gore.)

Together we will tackle the project and the process of writing a research paper. We will break down this larger project into a series of steps designed to help you build on and expand your existing skills. Topic proposals, drafting, revision, and peer feedback will all be integral to this process. We will focus on developing research skills and on incorporating these source materials into our papers.

This course is open only to students who have passed the Entry Level Writing Requirement/Subject A test (or equivalent).

Note to international students: This is not a course in English as a Second Language.  Please see College Writing Programs for E.S.L. courses offered in summer.

This course will be taught in Session C, from June 21 to August 11.