Last Section began: Feb. 4, 2019
Next Section begins: April 15, 2019
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a quintessential gothic novel, a foundational text in the history of science fiction, and a gripping monster story. It is beautiful, horrible, and philosophically engaging, has been continually in print since 1823, and has inspired countless imitations and adaptations. Find out what the fuss is about with me. Whether you’re reading Frankenstein for the first time or the tenth, this fascinating text is worth a closer look.
Next Section Begins: April 15, 2019
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is both a compelling story and a microcosm of Victorian fixations, hangups, obsessions, anxieties. Dracula has stalked the imagination of both literary and popular culture since its publication in 1900, as attested by its enduring popularity and the scores of adaptations that have been made since. Come read this novel with me, and discover both what is so seductive and what is so repulsive about Dracula.
Stories of shapeshifters and werewolves go back centuries. Anglo-Norman writer Marie de France writes about Bisclavret in the twelfth century, but although her werewolf is the best-known it is not the only, or even the first tale of werewolf knights in the middle ages. In this course we will discover a number of medieval werewolves, from the moving to the horrifying, and begin to understand what makes werewolves so compelling.
In the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf, the title character fights three monsters: Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and a dragon. Together, we will explore the symbolic meaning of each of these monsters, show what they each have to do with each other, and in the process grapple with the oldest epic in the English language.
Zombies are utterly modern monsters. Although reanimated corpses and spectres appear in older stories, as in the fifteenth century Three Living and the Three Dead, the zombie as we understand it now did not appear in fiction until the twentieth-century. Together we will explore film, prose, and comic books to explain what zombie stories tell us about our own times.
The Monster Package
You can register for all five units of monster courses, Frankenstein, Dracula, Medieval Werewolves, Beowulf, and Zombies, and get a discounted price. The material is the same as purchasing one course at a time, but you don’t pay as much!
Courses will be repeated, subject to registration, so if you register for the Monster Package after some of the courses have already been completed you will either be automatically registered for the next offering of the courses you missed or else I will refund a portion of the cost if the course is not offered again.
Le Morte Darthur
Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur is the only work of medieval literature still commonly read by laypeople for pleasure. It represents an inflection point for Arthurian literature: it is the primary source to which virtually all adaptation or expansions of Arthurian legend return, and it is the lens through which scholars and amateurs alike have viewed older Arthurian legend for centuries. Come read Le Morte Darthur with me, and discover the adventure, the pathos, the mystery, and the humour of this amazing work.