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WRIT 118.001 | The Monsters Among Us


WRIT 118.001 | The Monsters Among Us

Valerie Guyant | Spring 2014 | Jan 21-Apr 6 | MWF 1:00-1:50 

In this particular course, we will investigate what I am calling “the monsters among us.” What this means is that we might apply rhetoric to looking at popular culture monsters, serial killers, dictators, and many others. Essentially, the idea is to look at incidents where society identifies something as evil or monstrous, how that identification occurs, and why it occurs. As an example, someone fascinated by science might be interested in whether there is a “serial killer gene” and how that is written about and investigated in the news compared to in the sciences themselves. In comparison, someone interested in journalism might be intrigued by the news cycle and the ways in which someone might go from being a suspect in a crime to being “[a] cold-blooded, callous monster” or a “monster mom.”1

1Anyone familiar with the case might remember that Casey Anthony was labeled in this way (see, for instance, "Casey Anthony Trial: Frustrated Cops Called Her 'Cold Blooded... Monster'" [2011] and "Casey Anthony verdict: Jury finds Florida mother not guilty of killing daughter Caylee Anthony, 2" [2011]).