NYU Gallatin Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Sub Navigation

Back to Courses

Monsters in Popular Culture: Invented, Awakened, Invading

Semester and Year SU 2008
Course Number K20.1494
Section 001
Days Tue,Thu
Time 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Units 4.0
Level U
Foundation Requirement


From the earliest myths to the latest big-budget action film, powerful monsters continue to menace the innocent and frighten the listener/reader/viewer. Monsters have been pivotal to folk tales, literary texts, and films. In the nineteenth century, they became intertwined with industrialization, scientific experimentations and inventions. By the end of that century, the psychological monster emerged whose terror lies in its grip on the subconscious. Post World War II, the shock of the massive Atom Bomb released a new generation on screen of primitive monsters; while later space exploration created another group of alien monsters. In the 1950s, monster films like The Blob, The Thing, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers offered veiled political commentary. Other monster-types including the Beast Bridegroom and the multi-headed, multi-limed, physically monstrous creature, hybrids of living being and otherness have been created and endured through myth and folk or fairy tales. In this course, our monsters will include, but not be limited to Frankenstein, Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Nosferatu, Godzilla (including the original Japanese Godjira), King Kong, assorted Blobs, Things, and Aliens, as well as creatures from the worlds of Harry Potter, Bilbo Baggins and Dark Materials' Lyra. The reading/viewing material will include a mix of fiction, films, and critical articles.

Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

NYU Gallatin Footer

New York University
Gallatin School of Individualized Study
1 Washington Place
New York, NY 10003
(212) 998-7370