ENGLISH 230 - Introduction to Short Story and Novel
Winter 2022, Section 002 - Monstrous Bodies in Horror Fiction
Instruction Mode: Section 002 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


This course will serve as an introduction to horror fiction by engaging with the question of what makes monsters monstrous. We will examine the fine and oft-transgressed lines between the human body and the monstrous body, and consider what makes this transgression so frightening. In doing so, we will engage with the ways various identities have been rendered monstrous in fiction, such as those of racial and sexual minorities, women, and people with disabilities, and how horror fiction has the power to inspire fear towards downtrodden groups. We will ask ourselves: What defines the “normal” human body? What defines the monstrous? Is it possible (or even desirable, or socially responsible) to safeguard the human against the monstrous?

We will analyze texts from varieties of media, from short stories (“Bloodchild,” “The Thing on the Doorstep,” etc.), a novel (Annihilation), films (Alien, Get Out, etc.), a manga (Uzumaki), and a play (R.U.R. [Rossum’s Universal Robots]), as well as a variety of critical texts to supplement our understanding of course themes.

Our course begins with an introduction to course concepts, then progresses to three thematic units. The “Assimilation” unit examines how humans and monsters take on qualities of the other, integrating aspects of human and monstrous identities into their own. The “Transformation” unit observes the shift of the human body into a monstrous body (and vice versa). The “Paternity” unit explores parent/child relationships and issues of biological and social inheritance between humans and monsters.


ENGLISH 230 - Introduction to Short Story and Novel
Schedule Listing
001 (REC)
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
002 (REC)
 In Person
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM

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