Monster Blog Presentations

Tuesday, December 5 and Thursday, December 7, 2017 (in class)

Our course began by asking the following questions: Why is American culture fascinated by the image of the monster and apocalyptic narratives? What identity groups have been deemed monstrous throughout American history and how is monstrosity depicted in literature and cultural productions? Most importantly, throughout this semester and in all our readings we have been asking, why do we create monsters? What cultural function do they serve? These questions, along with the other nuanced issues each text generated, informed our in-class conversations and our on-going digital projects.

The digital conversations taking place in your Monster Blogs remind us that the discussions that occur inside the classroom about texts such as The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Get Out, and “The Fall of the House of Usher,” are actually interventions in ongoing public debates about literature and the role of horror and the speculative within the academy and American literature and culture. Indeed, throughout the semester you participated in larger academic conversations centered on the questions guiding our class, contributing to important traditions of argumentation and scholarship within and outside the classroom.

The Monster Blog Presentation asks you to consider the work you have done throughout the semester in your digital projects and its intersection with the courses larger themes. As you consider the different representations of monstrosity, haunting, and horror we have explored throughout the semester, your Monster Blog presentations should attempt to answer one or more of the following questions: What are monsters? How are monsters represented in American literature and culture and why are they represented in this way? What function do monsters or a particular monster, such as the werewolf, vampire, or ghost, have in the American zeitgeist? How do monsters, hauntings, and horror function in one text or a set of texts?

In a 5-minute presentation you will exhibit the work you have been doing in your Monster Blog and how this writing, in conjunction with our course readings, class discussions, and recommended readings, have informed your argument about monsters, hauntings, and horror.

Lastly, the Monster Blog Presentation also has a written component. In a 2-3-page paper, you will present an argument about the questions presented above, using your blog, primary texts, and recommended readings as support and illustration of for your main claims. Monster Blog Papers are due Thursday, December 14 by 11:59 pm via Blackboard. If you would like comments and feedback on this paper, please submit it no later than Friday, December 8 by 11:59 pm.

Grading:

  • Presentation (60 points): An effective presentation is engaging and concise. Attending to the brevity of these performances, your presentation showcases your Monster Blog and present an inspiring argument based on our course materials.
  • Paper (40 points): An “A” paper will present a clear and powerful argument about the role of monsters, haunting, and horror in American literature and culture. This paper will also implement the work you have been performing throughout the semester in your blog, the primary texts and films we have discussed in class, and the recommended readings to illustrate your argument.