Die Anmeldung findet im Rahmen des allgemeinen Verfahrens der Fachrichtung statt. Bitte beachten Sie die Mitteilungen auf der Website der Fachrichtung und die Aushänge.
Whether Grendel from Beowulf, Count Dracula from Dracula or Smaug from The Hobbit – (male) monsters continue to mesmerize and inspire us, for their flaws, their freedom to deliberately trangress as well as for the spheres of otherness they can claim for themselves. Thus, "[monsters] offer a space where society can safely address and represent anxieties of its time" (Levina and Bui, Monster Culture in the 21st Century: A Reader, 2013). But what about the intentions and also the potential powers of specifically female monsters?
"She who, in all probability, was to become a thinking and reasoning animal, might refuse to comply with a compact made before her creation. ... She also might turn with disgust from him to the superior beauty of man; she might quit him, and he be again alone, exasperated by the fresh provocation by being deserted by one of his own species” (Mary Shelley, Frankenstein 163). In Victor Frankenstein's contemplation about how the female counterpart to his male creation might turn out, his concern about the potential agency of this female monster and, connected to this, his loss of control over her/it seems clear. Frankenstein’s she-monster already is imagined as a transgressive creature before she/it even comes into being.
In this proseminar, we will study the representations and cultural implications of female monsters in British film and fiction. We will begin our monster hunt in the late 19th century with Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla, a female vampire. We will then move on to the late 20th century to Jeanette Winterson’s The Stone Gods, in which we meet technical she-monsters, dinosaurs and other monstrous creatures. Here, we will not only concern ourselves with the depiction of (female) monsters, but also with the question of the female creator as a transgressive figure. The last stop on our quest will be the HBO series Raised by Wolves, in which a female android with immense destructive powers is programmed to raise human children. Ultimately, the goal of this course is to connect the lines between the fictional female monsters and the anxieties, challenges and desires of humankind.
Please buy and read the following editions. You have to have read Le Fanu’s novel by the beginning of the course. We will watch sequences of Raised by Wolves together in class. The episodes will be made available to you at the beginning of the semester.
Le Fanu, Sheridan. Carmilla, edited by Carmen Maria Machado, Lanternfish Press, 2019.
ISBN-10: 1941360386 / ISBN-13: 978-1941360385
Winterson, Jeanette. The Stone Gods. Penguin, 2008.
ISBN-10: 014103260X / ISBN-13: 978-0141032603