Reading and Writing about Visual Experience: Monsters and the monstrous, eighteenth century to the present
Monday | Wednesday: 12:30 - 2:00pm
Modern culture is bristling with monsters: vampires, werewolves, zombies and Frankensteins galore have taken over our big and small screens, haunt our bookshelves, and stalk the halls of our museums and galleries. We don’t believe in monsters, per se – and yet as metaphors of our relationships with ourselves, with each other, and with nature, they have continued to be immensely potent in the modern world. In this class, we will explore some of the ways in which artists over the last couple of centuries have used monsters – in both fine art and popular culture, and in painting, literature, sculpture, and film – to explore a world full of rapidly changing understandings of the human mind and body, and a radically and constantly transforming relationship to the forces of nature.
This class will prioritize close reading and analysis of scholarly sources, and we will therefore be introduced to the broader spectrum of ways to look at and to think and write about art. We will also be practicing the basic skills involved in researching, reading and writing effectively in an academic context. You will be writing a 10-12 page research paper.