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HIF-3111 Manufacturing Monsters: Othering Through Constructing Evil - 10 ECTS
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.
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.
The course is taught in English.
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.
The students will obtain the following learning outcomes:
The student will obtain knowledge of:
- 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
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 is a termpaper, 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.