Monsters in Literature

‌Course Description: This series examines the literary roots of iconic monsters like vampires, werewolves, and Frankenstein’s creature. We'll consider the earliest appearances of these monsters as innovative writers unleash them from folklore and science into horrifying fiction. We'll also try to understand the many meanings they've acquired in Western culture.

Course Information: Wednesdays, 1:00-3:00 p.m., starting Sept. 20, 2017, O'Shaughnessy Educational Center Auditorium, University of St. Thomas St. Paul Campus

Course Instructor: Gordon Grice is the author of such books as The Red Hourglass and The Book of Deadly Animals. He has taught creative writing and the literature of horror at California Institute of the Arts, the University of Minnesota, and, since 2001, the University of St. Thomas.

Fee for the series:  $90 per person

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To print out a form to complete and then mail in with a check or cash payment, click on this link: ‌Printable Registration Form Fall 2017

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Detailed Course Syllabus:

Sept. 20 

Troubled Spirits: The Ghost Story

Ghosts have haunted myth and literature from the beginning. So why did they reach their height in the age of science?

Sept. 27

Dead Men Walking, Part 1: The Vampire

How did this plague-ridden demon evolve into the modern ideal of romance? We'll find out by looking into Bram Stoker's Dracula and other seminal works.

Oct. 4

Dead Men Walking, Part 2: Frankenstein and Friends

Science and theology tangle in Mary Shelley's classic novel. We'll also look into the origins of the mummy and the zombie as literary characters.

Oct. 11 

Werewolves and Other Shape-Shifters

We'll meet the oldest monster in literature, plus his literary descendants: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Oct. 18

Massive Monsters

From Grendel to Godzilla, oversized monsters stalk our stories and films. What do these plus-sized horrors have to say about the limits of nature?

Oct. 25

Wicked Witches

From Medea to The Wizard of Oz and even Bewitched, the female sorcerer has cast a powerful spell. We'll look into her troubled history.


Free copies of course literature will be found at this link: