Society classifies our identity based upon categories we often cannot control: sex, race, socio-economic status, intelligence, disability. However, we daily shape that identity through choices in order to construct our individual narratives. Sometimes that construction involves redefining cultural norms. Society also classifies cultural norms to define good and bad, right and wrong, hero and monster. In this class, students will begin to question and think critically about these classifications in order to define for themselves heroic or monstrous behavior and in doing so, possible redefine their own personal narratives. Any definition requires good diction and quality research, so this class will focus on ways to help them refine their writing and research skills in order to find a clear and effective voice.
In the final research project, students will research an aspect of monstrosity related to their own personal interests. Suggestions for the project may include ideas such as the following:
Women’s liberation – abortion, birth control pill
Mutations from chemicals – Thalidomide, “mutants,” birth defects
Humanity/What does it mean to be human?