Trace the genealogy of a specific monster over time essay

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Trace the genealogy of a specific monster over time essay

Topic 1: Far from existing solely as a means of escaping reality, it is without question that the horror film may also operate as both a reflection, and commentary upon, very real social and political conditions or tensions. In a well-developed essay, being sure to focus on key scenes and to discuss elements of filmmaking, explore a specific horror film, horror film franchise, or sub-genre of horror film and its relationship to a specific category of identity, philosophical problem, or social/political issue.

Some possible areas of discussion for this topic might include:
Firstly, nineties “Race Horror” and the Failures/Successes of Multiculturalism or Affirmative Action
Secondly, gender/Sexuality in the Slasher Film
Thirdly, Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and the AIDS Crisis
Fourthly, the Serial Killer and the Moral Problem of Good or Evil
Lastly, creature Films and Geopolitics

Topic 2:

As no small number of the critics we have encountered this semester suggest, the monster—in whatever shape, size, or other guise it appears—is a valuable cultural interpretive tool that can tell us as much about ourselves as it can the society that we live in. The monster may even tell us about the values that the society we live in wishes to inculcate in us. The monster can even alert us to the dangers or problems inherent in these supposedly neutral or positive values. In a well-developed essay exploring any combination of visual cultural forms. (film, television, music videos, advertisements, etc.) trace the genealogy of a specific monster over time. Also, discuss the various ways in which it has reflected, critiqued, or commented upon personal and/or social anxieties connected to a specific time and place.

Some possible areas of discussion for this topic might include:
Firstly, the Alien/Extra-Terrestrial and the Nation-State/National Security
Secondly, the Vampire, Sexual Desire, and Social Taboos
Thirdly, physical Disability, Monstrosity, and Ableism
Frankenstein’s Monster and Philosophy
Werewolves, Western Civilization, and Culture

Topic 3:

The openly fascist Golden Dawn’s terrorizing of refugees and immigrants in Greece and the revival of the National Front in France in recent years have made eminently clear that the fascist threat has never left Europe. Here in the US, white nationalist organizations like Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute and its advocacy of “peaceful” ethnic cleansing, white supremacist Jeremy Christian fatally stabbing two men and wounding one other for defending a Muslim woman of color, and the rise of far-right and fascist vigilante street gangs have demonstrated that the U.S. is no less immune to fascist provocation.

Our present political moment is definitely one where fascist creeps content to hide in the internet’s darkest recesses and on mountain compounds are demanding more attention. In a well-developed essay, discuss a specific far-right, fascist, crypto-fascist, white nationalist, militia, or hate organization and advance an argument for how they and the evil they represent are to be challenged and defeated.

Some possible areas of discussion for this topic might include:
The Alt-Right in the White House
Neo-Folk/Heathenry and “Hipster Fascism”
The Militia Movement
Richard Spencer and the National Policy Institute
White Supremacy, Settler Colonialism, and the Origins of American Fascism