spring 2018

HIF-3111 Manufacturing Monsters: Othering Through Constructing Evil - 10 ECTS

Sist endret: 29.01.2019

The course is provided by

Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education


Tromsø |

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June for the autumn semester and 1 December for the spring semester. Applicants from outside the Nordic countries: 1 October for the spring semester and 15 April for the autumn semester.

Type of course

The course is elective within the MA programme in media and documentation science. The course may be taken as an elective course within other master´s programmes at UiT and by international students at UiT that hold a BA-degree in the Humanities or in Social Sciences. The course may also be taken as a singular course by students qualified for master in media- and documentation science. 

The course is elective and interdisciplinary in nature. Students are encouraged to draw upon their respective backgrounds when choosing their subject. Cooperation between students is encouraged to enable the analysis of a particular issue from different critically theoretical and methodological angles.

Admission requirements

The course may be taken as a singular course by students qualified for master in media- and documentation science who requires a bachelor degree with a major in media- and documentation science, 80 ECTS credit points, with the average grade C. The course may also be taken as an elective course within other master´s programmes at UiT and by international students at UiT that hold a BA-degree in the Humanities or in Social Sciences.

Subject to 5 participants, the course will be available in spring 2018.

The course is taught in English.

Course content

This course focuses on the processes of manufacturing monsters - be they political, fictional, or cultural. We will investigate how monsters are created and how they are anchored in our collective memory. Theorists like Maurice Halbwachs, Aleida & Jan Assmann and Astrid Erll make up the foundation of the course`s conceptualization of monstrous creations and phenomena such as film, games, exhibitions, and political discourses.

Monsters are not necessarily something you only read about in fairy tales. Plenty of the characteristics that we usually ascribe to monsters appear beyond the pages; whether it is a World War II exhibition or the way in which news media depict political figures, we see how monsters are manufactured through cultural and political articulations of past and present phenomena. Memories of monsters are created through various media and discourses not only in the present, but also in our understanding of the past and the future.

By looking at these different forms of (shaping) memories of monsters in past, present, and towards the future, the course will provide students with an understanding of the processes that underlie the construction of remembrance or forgetting of a phenomenon as monstrous. This will be accomplished through the analysis of various media, such as film, digital games, news media, and museum exhibitions. Through each analysis, the course will provide examples and theories of how monsters are manufactured through medial processes on the basis of culture, politics, and fiction. With the aim of challenging all-too common depictions of good versus evil, ideas of liminal discourses and spaces of liminality will be introduced to the audience.

Objective of the course

The students will obtain the following learning outcomes:


The student will obtain knowledge on:

  • theories and concepts within studies of cultural memory, media studies, and critical theory
  • the relationship between politics, fiction, and culture in relation to the manufacturing of "monsters"
  • multidisciplinary analytical approaches


The student will be able to:

  • develop an advanced thesis within the subject area
  • independently analyze and evaluate a cultural phenomenon by applying the theoretical and methodical tools introduced by the course
  • critically approach sources and discourses in academic literature and debates
  • independently develop a relevant argumentation and critically reflect on the findings on a sound academic level


The students will be able to

  • apply their knowledge and skills to new areas in extension to the course´s subject area
  • develop exploratory critical questions in a precise and clear manner
  • be able to independently apply the scholarly theories and concepts introduced in the course
  • contribute to new thinking and ways of conceptualizing praxis

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

2 hours/week over 15 weeks with active student participation:

  • Lectures (theory part): 8 hours.
  • Seminars (with case studies): 20 hours.

Essay supervision: 2 hours

Quality assurance of the course: All courses will be evaluated once during the period of the study programme. The board of the programme decides which courses will be evaluated by students and teacher each year.


The following work requirements have to be delivered and approved in order to be eligible for the final exam:

  • Work requirement I: individual presentation of approx. 15 minutes including a handout (1 page)
  • Work requirement II: abstract for the final exam paper of around 500 words. Suggestions on additional literature need to be included.

In order to be able to participate in the exam the students are required to supplement the course curriculum with around 350 pages of extra literature.

The final exam will consist of 12-15 standardized, typewritten pages (25,000-30,000 signs excl. space, 1.5 - TNR-12). The work outcomes of Work requirement I and Work requirement II can function as suitable groundwork for the paper. The seminar will offer two supervision hours. Work requirement I and II will be evaluated in terms of pass/fail. The final exam will be graded by using a A-F scheme, whereby F means fail.

If a student fail the course, (s)he will be given the possibility to take a re-sit examination. The deadline to register for a re-sit examination is January 15th for the autumn semester and August 15th for the spring semester.

Date for examination

Paper hand in date 14.05.2018

The date for the exam can be changed. The final date will be announced in the StudentWeb early in May and early in November.


Recommended reading/syllabus

  • Sturken, Marita. 2008. `Memory, Consumerism and Media: Reflections on the Emergence of the Field´, Memory Studies 1:1, 73-78.
  • Secondary: Butler, Judith. 1997. `Merely Cultural´, Social Text 15:3/4, 265-27.
  • Herman, Edward S. and Noam Chomsky. 2000 [1988]. Manufacturing Consent. The Political Economy of the Mass Media. New York: Pantheon Book, 1-35.
  • Mullen, Andrew. 2009. `The Propaganda Model after 20 Years: Interview with Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky.` Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture 6:2, 12-22

The Propaganda Model after 20 Years: Interview with Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky

  • Jørgensen, Marianne Winther and Louise Phillips. 2002. Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method. London: Sage, 1-24.
  • Hacking, Ian. 199. The Social Construction of What? Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 9-11 and 102-107.
  • Evans, Owen. 2010. `Redeeming the Demon? The Legacy of the Stasi in Das Leben der Anderen´, Memory Studies 3:2, 164-177.
  • Molden, Berthold. 2016. `Resistant Pasts versus Mnemonic Hegemony: On the Power Relations of Collective Memory´, Memory Studies 9:2, 125-142.
  • Secondary: Van Dijk, Teun A. 1989. `Structures of Discourse and Structures of Power´, in Communication Yearbook 12, edited by James A. Anderson. Newbury Park: Sage, 18-59.
  • Williams, Michael C. 2003. `Words, Images, Enemies. Securitization and International Politics´, International Studies Quarterly 47:1, 511-531.

Words, Images, Enemies. Securitization and International Politics

  • Erll, Astrid. 2008. `Literature, Film, and the Mediality of Cultural Memory´, in Cultural Memory Studies. An International and Interdisciplinary Handbook, edited by Astrid Erll and Ansgar Nünning, Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, 389-398.
  • Young, Iris Marion. 2009. `Five Faces of Oppression´, in Geographic Thought. A Praxis Perspective, edited by George Henderson and Marvin Waterstone, London/New York: Routledge, 60-70.
  • Eisenhower, Dwight D. 1961. `The Military-Industrial-Complex´, Farewell Address to the American People, January 31, 1961.

The Military-Industrial-Complex

  • Biden, Joe. 2014. `Our Allies´, Speech at Harvard University, Kennedy School, October 2, 2014.

Our Allies

  • Assange, Julian. 2014. `ISIS, the Saudis and the Qataris´, Sputnik, November 4, 2014.

ISIS, the Saudis and the Qataris

  • Vulovic, Aleksa and Apollonov, Alex. 2017. The Haircut. BoyBoy Productions.

The Haircut

  • Pötzsch, Holger. 2015. `The Emergence of iWar: Changing Practices and Perceptions of Military Engagement in a Digital Era´, New Media & Society, 17(1), 78-95.

The Emergence of iWar: Changing Practices and Perceptions of Military Engagement in a Digital Era

  • Pötzsch, Holger. 2013. `Ubiquitously Absent Enemies: Character Engagement in the Contemporary War Film´, Nordicom Review, 34(1), 125-144.

Ubiquitously Absent Enemies: Character Engagement in the Contemporary War Film

  • Fron, Janine, Tracy Fullerton, Jacquelyn Ford Morie, and Celia Pearce. 2007. `The Hegemony of Play.´ In Situated Play: Proceedings of Digital Games Research Association 2007 Conference. Tokyo, Japan, 1-10. September 24-27, Tokyo: ludica.org.uk.

The Hegemony of Play.

  • Brunow, Dagmar. 2015. Remediating Transcultural Memory. Documentary Filmmaking as Archival Intervention. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 100-148.
  • Jones, Sara. 2013. `Memory on Film. Testimony and Constructions of Authenticity in Documentaries about the German Democratic Republic´, European Journal of Cultural Studies 16:2, 194- 210.
  • Sørenssen, Bjørn. 2013. `The Forgotten Cinematographer of Mount Suribachi. Bill Genaust`s Eight Second Iwo Jima Footage and the Historical Facsimile´, in Eastwood`s Iwo Jima. Critical Engagement with Flags of Our Fathers and Letters of Iwo Jima, edited by Rikke Schubart and Anne Gjelsvik. New York/Chichester: Columbia University Press, 36-57.

Holger Pötzsch-2.JPG

Holger Pötzsch

Førsteamanuensis medie- og dokumentasjonsvitenskap
Telefon: +4777645380 holger.potzsch@uit.no


Bockwoldt, Juliane C

Stipendiat i medie- og dokumentasjonsvitenskap
Telefon: +4777645964 juliane.c.bockwoldt@uit.no


Emil Lundedal Hammar

Stipendiat medie- og dokumentasjonsvitenskap
Telefon: +4777644314 emil.hammar@uit.no

Kari Torill Guldahl ISK

Guldahl, Kari Torill

Studiekonsulent for medie- og dokumentasjonsvitenskap, kunsthistorie
Telefon: +4777644263 kari.t.guldahl@uit.no

Undervisningsplan HIF-3111 Vår 2018


Pensum HIF-3111 Vår 2018

Pensum HIF-3111