Class Explores the History and Psychology of Monsters
There’s a class offered at 澳门永利国际赌城 where students face their fears—well, 在某种意义上说.
博士在读学生. 坎迪斯·利文斯顿的CON 310课程, “Monsters: The Life (and Afterlife) of Monstrous Creatures,正在学习如何欣赏, 分析, question and critique monsters that appear in history and contemporary society. The class explores monsters as they’ve appeared in art, books, motion pictures and other forms.
《澳门永利国际赌城》中的楚巴卡身体强壮, but creator George Lucas gave him some likable qualities, 太. On the other hand, there are malevolent monsters like the one in the movie “Alien.” Then there are also monsters by transformation, such as when Dr. 杰基尔变成了先生. 海德. 一些怪物电影处理大小问题, 比如金刚, the giant ape who’s the subject of a pioneering cinematic special effects masterpiece. Other elements of horror deal more with quantity, such as armies of Orcs in J.R.R. 托尔金的《澳门永利国际赌场》三部曲. Some have sort of a cute factor, like Gremlins, wreaking havoc in numbers.
Sometimes “monster” is a term ascribed to a candidate’s political opponent or an abusive or violent person—that gets discussed, 太.
“怪物可以教给我们很多东西，”他说. 坎迪斯利文斯顿, who is an Art History professor in the 南卡罗来纳艺术学院 at 澳门永利国际赌城. 正如学生在课程早期学到的那样, the very word ‘monster’ reflects this; it comes from the Latin verb ‘monstrare,“显示”.’ To use another word from that same root, monsters always demonstrate something to us.”
Dr. Livingston was inspired to create the class out of a fascination she’s had with monsters since her childhood. In this class, she shows her students how monsters can be a powerful way to 分析 society.
“We discuss how monsters have been used metaphorically throughout history to represent people who challenge society’s expectations, and how the very word ‘monster’ is utilized in propaganda even now to create fear and mistrust of people unlike ‘us.’ We 分析 how monsters can be used to divide us and feed our social fears or how, 相反, they can teach us empathy for the marginalized and misunders太d,”她说。.
“I didn’t just learn about monsters,” said Taylor Harrison, a recent graduate who 太k Dr. 利文斯顿的类 and is currently an adjunct faculty member in the Art and Design Department. “我认为这门课让我对自己了解得最多, which is interesting considering the range of courses I have taken. 如果你深入挖掘并与内容搏斗, it forces you to be reflective in a really challenging but growth-inspiring way.”
Getting back to this article’s first sentence about facing one’s fears—Students in the class study the psychology of fear and why we fear the things we do, 无论是作为社会还是作为个人. They explore these feelings in a journal kept over the course of the semester. 作为最终项目, students create and present to the class a monster that gives physical form to a personal fear.
当他带着博士. 利文斯顿的类, Curtis Shirkey learned how during certain time periods there are spikes in certain monsters.
“吸血鬼一度很受欢迎, zombies or Kaijus (Japanese monster subgenre) were popular in the 40s and 50s. There are worldwide events that were happening at the time that these monsters embodied the fear that was associated at the time. 现在每当我看恐怖电影, I’m like ‘What is this monster a representation of that we’re facing today?’”
Watching the television show “Finding Bigfoot” captivated Stelan 马丁 when he was a kid.
“一开始我吓得要死. 我不喜欢外面潜伏着什么东西, 尤其是在我的家乡, 因为我所在的地方有很多树林, 四周都是湖泊,”马丁说。, 在奥科尼县北部农村长大的人, 南卡罗来纳. “You learn from those shows that Bigfoot liked to stay in the woods and they also know how to swim—as a kid that concerned me a lot.”
马丁, who’s playing the lead role in the upcoming 澳门永利国际赌场 Theatre presentation of “Frankenstein,博士说。. 2022年秋季学期利文斯顿的课堂. He feels that taking the class helped him to get into his role as the famous fabricated monster.
“I would not have auditioned for the creature if I had not taken her class, 因为我们讨论过的那些怪物,马丁评论道. “You learned the human side of those characters—especially when the auditions came around for ‘Frankenstein.’”
(《澳门永利国际赌城》将于11月11日上映. 3-11, 2023 in the Belk Theatre of the 南卡罗来纳艺术学院 at 澳门永利国际赌城.)
Another thing about the class—a student can opt out of viewing a horror film if they feel it’s 太 scary—the class offers them viewing alternatives.
“My hope is that what we do over the course of the semester helps students not only appreciate the monster media all around them in culture on a deeper level but also learn to identify and 分析 their own fears, 也许是为了更好地理解和管理它们. It’s a tall order, but monsters can do all these things and more,” Dr. 利文斯顿说.
This course devoted to monsters is a 连接ions course. 连接ions courses at 澳门永利国际赌城 use the 太ls of multiple fields to examine a topic of broad interest.