Summer 2010 Course Descriptions

Folklore 162 AC
The Narrative Construction of Reality: The Marvelous / The Monstrous
JoAnn Conrad
section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes
Why do the stories we tell and those that capture our imaginations so frequently deal with that which astounds us…that which shatters our conventional wisdom about the ways in which the world operates?
Why do the stories we tell so often focus that which is unknown onto well known narrative figures – Cannibals, Monsters, Zombies, etc

This course seeks to investigate our endless fascination with, attraction to, and revulsion at awesome spectacles – displays of the marvelous and the monstrous.  We will look at the changing notions of the marvelous in the context of changing scientific paradigms, the production of knowledge, and political imperatives.  At the more personal level, we will examine our insistent fascination with difference, however it is determined, as it informs our own presentations of self.

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