English Syllabus Essays

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English 1012: Monster Theory
Prof. Stephen Aubrey

T/F 11-12:15 3150B Office: 2311 Boylan Hall e-mail: stephen.aubrey@gmail.com Office Hours: Tues. 12:30-1:30
Required Texts1
A Writer's Reference, Diane Hacker
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
Grendel, John Gardner
Course Packet (available on Blackboard or at Far Better Copy)

Godzilla (1954)
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Course Goals
The first goal of any course is for you to exit the room asking questions and observing the world in a way you haven’t before. What is literature? Why do people read it? What is its purpose in our society? Why do certain works endure? What do they say about who we, the readers, are? If you do not see a place for yourself, the reader, in the books you study, then how can you determine why they say what they do and whether it is relevant? My goal is for you to realize that every piece of writing is transmitting a message. What is that message? How does it relate to the world we live in? Through in-class discussions, we will draw connections between literature, criticism, and the cultural climate of today. These connections will lead us to strong questions that will drive research based on the themes of the class. From this research, each student will develop a thesis statement. These thesis statements will eventually manifest themselves into research papers that reflect the independent, brilliant thoughts of each member of the class.

Another goal: Not to be afraid of your ability to produce an independent, brilliant thought.

One more: To write clearly and academically in complete sentences which are driven by the need to communicate as opposed to the need to “take up space.”
Thematic Description
Grotesque, scary, seductive, fierce, fascinating, or just plain weird, monsters occupy a significant place in the literary imagination. Monsters live on the borders of cultural, racial, political, economic, religious, and sexual difference. In this course, we will encounter many different kinds of literary monsters, keeping a number of questions in mind. Where are the borders between humans and monsters? How and when does the monster return, and under what new guise? What can monsters tell us about the desires, hopes, and fears of the cultures from which they emerge? Through our exploration of the monstrous in various genres and literary periods —from classical and medieval to 20th century literature — students will develop their skills in summarizing, close reading, literary analysis, critical thinking, argumentation, and research.

Coursework & Grading
Research Paper Total-60% Topic Proposal-5% Annotated Bibliography- 10% Outline-10% Presentation-5% Final Paper-30%
Reading Responses—30% (10% each)
Class Participation—10%
Attendance: Attendance is required. If you miss more than three classes, you will fail the class: this is a college-wide rule for this course. Lateness will count as a partial absence. If you miss class on a date when an assignment is due, you are still responsible for submitting the assignment on time, either by e-mail or through another student.
Reading Responses: Over the course of the semester, you will be required to write 3 papers reflecting and critically responding on the texts we will read for the course. Each response paper should be 1-2 pages (double-spaced) and must be typed. Your Reading Responses are an opportunity for you to engage and explore the themes of the class, developing your own independent observations, thoughts, and connections; they are not a forum for you to reiterate or summarize class discussion. While the Reading Responses may be informal in tone, they will still be held to the same high standards of academic writing with regards to grammar, punctuation, and organization.
Written work: All written work for this course must be typed, with one-inch margins and a twelve-point standard font. You should focus on building