Course Description

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Aliens and Vampires

Stories serve a number of purposes that go well beyond simple entertainment.  Stories tell us who we are, they help us to transmit our culture and our values, and they offer a forum in which we work out our more difficult questions and problems.  In this course, we will investigate the alien and vampire genres.  What is it about these particular stories and characters that captivates our imagination?  Why is it that we’ll see a long run of a particular genre during a particular time period, and what do those stories tell us about the culture, the sociopolitical environment, or the issues of that time?

This course will look at a range of stories within the alien and vampire genres and will include both written and cinematic texts.  Some examples of the works we’ll investigate include Dracula, I am Legend, and Blade alongside Contact, Alien, and Star Trek.  Students should be prepared to read two full length novels and a short story during the semester, as well as to participate in writing and critical discussions about the stories.  A detailed analytical paper will serve as the final exam for the course.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Course Description

  1. What fun! I love how your lunch date turned into such a creative springboard for a class with a great hook! I can’t wait to hear how the course goes!

  2. I love it, too. Please keep us updated!

  3. Melissa

    Also excited about this class! What a great course this will be. :)

  4. improbablejoe

    Hmmm… in reference to the “privilege thing” I mentioned in your last post, the best I can come up with is that I was thinking about when you were going on about “The Last Samurai” which is a huge example of “white man’s burden” racial privilege.

    I don’t know what books, stories, and movies you should use, but if it were me I’d start with deciding what I wanted to talk about, and then match the stories to the topics, and create a through-line for the course.

  5. Rowan

    I wish I could be in your class! It sounds great!

    I’m implementing the Learning in Depth program tomorrow and giving the topics out with lovely purple folders complete with name and topic labels. We’ll see how it goes.

  6. Donna

    Sounds marvelous Mrs. Chili! You teach such wonderful topics–I can’t believe your students wouldn’t be mesmerized the entire year!

  7. Where was *this* class when *I* was in school?

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