Fall 2011 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Ingrao, Peter
Discipline and Number
HUMA 1301 Section 003
MWF Time 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM
Course Title
Exploration of the Humanities

Description of Course:

When Beowulf slew Grendel or rode out against the dragon he did so as a hero facing monsters who were clearly distinct from himself as obstacles to be overcome for his glory. Beginning with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, we see monsters such as Victor's creature, vampires and zombies, not as obstacles but as the central occupants of our stories, as the focus of our interest, fear, and sometimes envy, and as reflections of society and ourselves. After all, why do zombies flock to the mall? Intended to introduce students to the connections between various fields of studies in the humanities, this section of HUMA 1301 will apply an interdisciplinary approach to viewpoints concerning monsters and monstrosity. During this semester this theme will be discussed by examining the rich dialogue between myth, verse, fiction, film, and pop culture.

Required Texts:

Seamus Heaney, trans., Beowulf
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Bram Stoker, Dracula
John Gardner, Grendel

Selected zombie fiction will be available via e-reserve. The course will utlitize eLearning in relation to the project on an assigned monster, and students are also encouraged to submit video, articles, short stories, or other works related to the course theme. Films, such as Frankenstein (1931 and 1994), Dracula (1931), The Wolfman (1941), Blade Runner, and excerpts from such television shows as The Simpsons and The Walking Dead will also be incorporated.

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Two exams
Short essay
Project on an assigned monster

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