‘We live in a time of monsters,’ writes Jeffrey Jerome Cohen in Monster Theory. As beings who mix categories or defy 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 the monstrous, universal or particular to moments and places, call special attention to the darkness that dwells within all of us, even in our denial of it.
This course will build theoretical underpinnings with Frederich Nietzsche, Umberto Eco, James Twitchell, Michel Foucault, and Adam Douglas. Together, we will consider concrete literary examples from the Spanish Baroque and the Nocilla Generation, before students’ individual research will begin to drive the content. Therefore, we will create ample opportunity to consider examples 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. In Spanish.