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Monsters and the Monstrous springs from a UF undergraduate course designed by Nina Stoyan-Rosenzweig (UF Health Science Center Library), and team-taught by four undergraduates in the Honors Program in the 2018 fall semester. Its focus is on the nature of “monsters”--how society fears, defines, or embraces monsters of all kinds, in many cultures and eras. To mark the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, students will read "Monstrous Progeny: a History of the Frankenstein Narratives" (2016; Friedman, Kavey), and explore monsters through movies, talks and other media, culminating in the creation of the Harn exhibition, Monsters and the Monstrous.
Beginning in the fall semester, students will immerse themselves in reading and discussion. Four undergraduates from the Honors Program--Yasmina Bassi, Mary Johnson, Arvind Sommi, and Olivia Trumble--will team-teach the course. By mid-semester, they will choose up to fifteen relevant artworks from the museum’s collection pre-selected by curators Carol McCusker and Eric Segal. Possible selections include: Andy Warhol’s Dracula photograph, a Picasso Minotaur etching, a Panamanian mola Sea Monster, and George Grozs’ lithograph of a murderous White General, among others. The students will then write interpretive texts for the final exhibition overseen by Stoyan-Rosenzweig, McCusker and Segal.
This interdisciplinary collaboration extends the Harn’s mission to serve UF undergraduate education, while also providing rich content that will appeal to general audiences.