Reading and Writing about Visual Experience: The Nature of Monsters
Monday, Wednesday: 9:30-11:00amModern culture is bristling with monsters: vampires, werewolves, sphinxes and Frankensteinsgalore have taken over our big and small screens, haunt our bookshelves, and stalk the halls of our museums and galleries. Even as a literal belief in monsters and the supernatural seems less common in many parts of the world today than it was in the past, monsters have continued to be immensely potent in the modern world as metaphors of our relationships with ourselves, with each other, and with nature. 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, film and more – 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.