“We live in a time of monsters,” writes Jeffrey Jerome Cohen in Monster Theory. By mixing categories or defying categorization altogether, monsters may be apt emblems for a postmodern age, yet it would be a mistake to imply that monsters are a creation of postmodernity. The monstrous figures that dominate popular contemporary culture come from a long artistic tradition, and their depictions both promote and reveal fears. The fears underlying depictions of the monstrous, universal and/or particular to specific communities, also call special attention to the darkness that dwells within all of us, even in our very denial of it.
This course will build theoretical underpinnings with essays by Frederich Nietzsche, Barbara Creed, Umberto Eco, James Twitchell, Donna Haraway, and Michel Foucault. Together, we will explore literary monsterpieces from the Spanish Baroque and Gothic, avant-garde, and the recent Nocilla Generation, before students’ individual research questions will determine content. Therefore, depending on student interests, there will be ample opportunity to consider examples of alterity from any time and place in the Hispanophone world. We will, in the end, hope to uncover more about the values of normative groups that vilify and externalize, than about the monsters these norms denigrate. Advanced level.
Corequisite: Attendance at two Language Series events.
Registration for this course will begin on Wednesday, May 17 from 10:00am – 11:00am and Monday, May 22 from 10:00am – 12:00pm in Barn 216B.