Aaahh!!! Real Monsters: The Rhetoric of Othering in Popular Culture
This course is a part of OSU's First Year Writing Program, offered primarily to incoming Freshman. It fulfills the Level One Writing and Communication requirement of OSU’s General Education. Students in this course work to develop their analytical writing skills, gain foundational knowledge of rhetorical analysis/production, and become immersed in the chosen course theme.
From mythology to B-movie horror, video games to the latest Disney film, monsters populate our cultural landscape, forever threatening the innocent and frightening the viewer. As a child it might seem easy to spot the monster, but as we grow older and as our media becomes more complex, distinguishing beauty from the beast grows muddled. Not every princess is pure of intent and not every creature is out to do us harm. Thus, this course revolves around discussing and developing the concept of a “monster,” questioning where our definitions come from and whether they are ultimately justified. In grappling with what scares and revolts us, we will discuss how monsters reflect the racial, gendered, sexual, and environmental fears of American society; how people define, reject, transform, and sometimes even come to love the monster. What we consider monstrous changes over time and often the monstrous will tell us more about ourselves than we expect.
Goals and Objectives for the General Education Curriculum
Writing and Communication
Students are skilled in written communication and expression, reading, critical thinking, oral expression, and visual expression
Level One (1110)
Expected Learning Outcomes:
1. Students communicate using the conventions of academic discourse.
2. Students can read critically and analytically.
In this first-year writing course, you will develop your capacity for undertaking academic research and analysis through an original research project and presentation of the results of your work to an audience of your peers. You will identify an area of interest within our course theme—monsters and monstrosity in popular culture—and you will find materials to analyze, develop analytical research questions, explore secondary texts, and make claims that are connected to the evidence you have discovered. As many researchers do at this stage in their work, you will then reframe what you have learned for a public audience. During the research process, you will also be preparing for the English 1110 Symposium by working on your own Symposium Presentation, a 5-minute presentation consisting of 15 images, each accompanied by 50-65 words of narration. The creation of your Symposium Presentation will provide significant opportunities for considering the nature of your research, the relationship between visual and written text, and issues of writing craft.
• Readings posted to Carmen site
• Ferebee, Kristin, Edgar Singleton and Mike Bierschenk. The Writer’s Companion: A Guide to First-Year
Writing with Excerpts from Writing Analytically. Second Edition. Boston: Cengage Learning, 2017
• Digital and/or hard copies are available for purchase
• You will need to have access to all readings during each class meeting, either in hard copy or digitally.
Analytical Research Project: Analysis of Primary and Secondary Sources 500 points
Primary Source Analysis 100 points
Annotated Bibliography 50 points
Secondary Source Integration 100 points
Analytical Research Paper 250 points
Skills: Identification of appropriate primary sources for analysis, accessing university library databases, application of analytical frameworks and rhetorical methods, analysis of primary and secondary sources, synthesis of multiple critical viewpoints into new interpretations, thesis development, composing process, style and grammar
Symposium Presentation 250 points
Images 100 points
Script 150 points
Skills: Making appropriate rhetorical decisions to reframe the results of academic research for a new audience, understanding genre expectations, attribution and citation of digital and visual sources
Process Posts, Symposium Introduction, Symposium Active Listening/Response 150 points
Process Posts 90 points (6 @ 15ea.)
Symposium Introduction 30 points
Symposium Active Listening/Response 30 points
Skills: Preparatory writing and image collection, careful listening and summarizing, responding to presentations in oral and written form
Participation 100 points
Skills: Active participation in discussion, in-class writing, productive collaboration, respect for classmates, timely communication with me.
Total: 1000 points