Archives

Persson, A., & Newman, C. (2008). Making monsters: Heterosexuality, crime and race in recent Western media coverage of HIV. Sociology of Health & Illness, 30(4), 632-646.

This is a really interesting article about the construction of monsters in public and social life. It talks about the recent construction of HIV and AIDS in terms of innocence and guilt, except this time in a heterosexual context, and in a Western country. The article discusses the conflation of criminality and black sexuality and the production of a monstrous masculinity that recalls and reflects historical and contemporary racial tensions.

Monster bib

Thomas, J. Howell. “Monstrosity.” The British Medical Journal, vol. 1, no. 1059, 1881, pp. 594–594. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/25256719.

This is an article from The British Medical Journal published in the late 1800s describing a form of “monstrocity: (in this case a miscarrage.) I thought it would be interesting for class for a few reasons; as Amarican cultural values have been heavly influenced by England it gives an example of a English example of human medical monstrocity, it gives an example of earlier (not this century) thoughts on monstrosity, and it deals with monstrocity in relationship to female bodies. As a warning it is a clinical yet graphic read.

 

Persson, A., & Newman, C. (2008). Making monsters: Heterosexuality, crime and race in recent Western media coverage of HIV. Sociology of Health & Illness, 30(4), 632-646.

This is a really interesting article on the social construction of monsters in terms of disease- specifically HIV, which has a history where Western media encouraged a definition of HIV as a disease that affected those outside of ‘proper’ social norms and heterosexuality. This article comes in after the move away from that thinking, and towards an understanding of HIV as a global heterosexual disease, epidemic, and human rights issue. It discusses a refashioning of the ideas of guilt and blame in a Western context, and the conflation of black sexuality, African origins, and the creation of a monstrous masculinity.

 

Course Theme Groups: Sign-Up

Please sign up for a course theme by filling your name in below. Try to keep theme groups at a minimum of four members and a maximum of five. However, feel free to email me if you are particularly interested in joining an already-full group.

Representation & Self-Representation

Cara Drinkward

Miranda Taylor

Cara Casper

Delaney Harader

 

Mental Health and Trauma

Jesse Sindelar

Scott Cole

Olivia Hagmann

Libby Hunt

Race, Religion and Culture

Megan Waldau

Prachi Patel

Abby Takahashi

Lily Parker

 

All Things Queer

Celia Langford

Willa Johnson

Colleen Boken

Course Theme 4: All Things Queer

Annotated Bibliography on Course Theme: As a class, we will select 4 or 5 course themes to follow throughout the semester. Students will be divided into groups. For the second class of every unit and using the research methodologies we will review at our library session, students will find and read one article the relates to the reading and their chosen theme for the semester, the citation for which and a short summary will also be collected in an annotated bibliography for class-wide use while writing the final essay. The following day, students will break out in their groups to discuss the secondary literature they read and how it applies to the comic we read for that unit, women in comics in general and class discussion that week.

 

Brewis, Joanna, Mark P. Hampton, and Stephen Linstead. “Unpacking Priscilla: Subjectivity and Identity in the Organization of Gendered Appearance.” Human Relations; Thousand Oaks 50, no. 10 (October 1997): 1275–1304.

This is a somewhat dated look at the practice of crossdressing (coming from 1997), and carries flaws as such. I was excited by the fact that it engaged clothing specifically, in light of Alison Bechdel’s fondness for suits, but I felt that it failed to encapsulate a more comfortable “middle ground” of gender. Brewis prioritizes the practices of male cross-dressers as “a fuller, more complete transgression of gender [than masculine clothing on a female]” (1288). She then proceeds to describe the on-off nature of cross-dressing, in which a man is either dressed as a woman or he isn’t. I feel that by privileging the completion of a transgression, Brewis is overlooking the more constant, subtle transgression that is carried out by say, Bechdel’s drawings of herself in Fun Home. The article breaks down gender as a construct (an argument one could find accompanied by deeper theory in Butler’s Gender Trouble), and then proceeds to address the practices of cross-dressing, as well as how cross-dressing is received by society. The article’s most exciting moments were when it talked about different allocations of the label “deviance” to different practices – say, to drag shows vs. crossdressing in every-day life, or to the male cross-dresser (perceived as) abandoning a privileged position vs. a female crossdresser (perceived as) aspiring to it.

 

Young, Elizabeth. 1991. “Here Comes the Bride: Wedding Gender and Race in Bride of Frankenstein.” Feminist Studies; College Park 17 (3): 403.

This is a really fascinating article that analyzes Bride of Frankenstein in interlocking lenses of feminism, queer theory, and race. Young argues that the movie displays a series of ever-more-destabilized gender triangles, in which the woman must mediate the homosocial relationship between men and prevent it from becoming homoerotic. The triangle loses stability both as Frankenstein and his mentor, Praetorius draw nearer to each other, and as the monster, inherently other to society, fails to see the difference between ‘friend’ and ‘lover,’ relating to both men and women in the same manner. This growing instability is directly related to the absence of women, and the men desperately seek to craft a woman to mediate for them: the bride of Frankenstein. Interestingly, this societal taboo of homosexuality embodied by the monster is in direct contradiction with the other societal taboo he embodies: the image of the violently heterosexual black man. The monster is depicted as at once monstrously heterosexual in the way that he violates white women, and also monstrously homosexual, in the way that he is attached to Praetorius, specifically. Thus, his internal contradictions are too great, and he commits suicide as the movie concludes. I would say that this article has a unique, insightful argument and argues its point very well. It made good use of Eve Sedgwick’s theory on the homosocial.

 

 

McFarland, Jami. “Resuscitating the Undead Queer in Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Saga” Journal of Popular Romance Studies. July 2016. http://jprstudies.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/RTUQISMTS.07.2016.pdf

While at first glance this article may not seem immediately relevant because it is about a popular romance novel but this article utilizes monster culture theory to evaluate a work of literature. It also provides an example of literary criticism that incorporates gender studies theoretical texts but is written about a popular novel which is similar to pieces we would be writing about comics like Monstress and Saga. This text is specifically about the use of queer monsters which is a topic that is directly relevant to this theme and could be applied to other monster-related texts in the syllabus including My Favorite Thing is Monsters and One! Hundred! Demons!.

 

Course Theme 3: Race, Religion and Culture

Annotated Bibliography on Course Theme: As a class, we will select 4 or 5 course themes to follow throughout the semester. Students will be divided into groups. For the second class of every unit and using the research methodologies we will review at our library session, students will find and read one article the relates to the reading and their chosen theme for the semester, the citation for which and a short summary will also be collected in an annotated bibliography for class-wide use while writing the final essay. The following day, students will break out in their groups to discuss the secondary literature they read and how it applies to the comic we read for that unit, women in comics in general and class discussion that week.

Course Theme 2: Mental Health and Trauma

<strong><u>Annotated Bibliography on Course Theme:</u></strong> As a class, we will select 4 or 5 course themes to follow throughout the semester. Students will be divided into groups. For the second class of every unit and using the research methodologies we will review at our library session, students will find and read one article the relates to the reading and their chosen theme for the semester, the citation for which and a short summary will also be collected in an annotated bibliography for class-wide use while writing the final essay. The following day, students will break out in their groups to discuss the secondary literature they read and how it applies to the comic we read for that unit, women in comics in general and class discussion that week.

Fletcher, Michael R. “Manifest Delusions.” Goodreads, Goodreads, www.goodreads.com/series/187630-manifest-delusions.

This is actually a book series that focuses on mental illness immensely within a fantasy setting. It focuses on mentally ill characters who have super powers based on their mental illnesses.

Course Theme 1: Representation

Annotated Bibliography on Course Theme: As a class, we will select 4 or 5 course themes to follow throughout the semester. Students will be divided into groups. For the second class of every unit and using the research methodologies we will review at our library session, students will find and read one article the relates to the reading and their chosen theme for the semester, the citation for which and a short summary will also be collected in an annotated bibliography for class-wide use while writing the final essay. The following day, students will break out in their groups to discuss the secondary literature they read and how it applies to the comic we read for that unit, women in comics in general and class discussion that week.

 

Tansuan, Theresa. “Up from Surgery: The Politics of Self-Representation in Women’s Graphic Memoirs of Illness.” Graphic Subjects: Critical Essays on Autobiography and Graphic Novels. Ed. Michael A. Chaney. Madison: U of Wisconsin, 2011. 180-194. Print.

  • This chapter investigates narratives of graphic memoirs surrounding illnesses.  Specifically, Tansuan discusses alternative representations of how we typically stereotype individuals who are sick, describing works that display these individuals in much more realistic terms.  The usage of image combined with text helps to emphasize the humanity of these individuals and debunk prejudices against them. Examples like Marchetto’s Cancer Vixen are used. (Cara D)

Calargé, Carla. “Monsters and Spectacles: A Lesson to Learn and Remember.”European Comic Art, vol. 5, no. 2, 2012, pp. 23-44,126. ProQuest, http://ezproxy.whitman.edu/login?url=https://search.proquest.com/docview/1692018113?accountid=1208, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3Y67/eca.2012.050203.

  • This article focuses on the comic series “Kia Ora” to analyze the ideas of freaks and monsters. It focuses on the roots of the word “monster” and breaks it down to the ideas of spectacle and abnormality. The essay explores the way in which the series features “freaks” who are objects of entertainment for the masses, yet reverses the gaze and attention to the masses and puts a critical light on the way in which they engage with the “freaks,” pointing out racial and discriminatory undertones. It also explains the trope of the imprisoned monster and the societal comfort it brings. (Cara C)

Murphy, Katherine J. “Analyzing Female Gender Roles in Marvel Comics from the Silver Age (1960) to the Present.” Inquiries Journal. 2016. Accessed October 16, 2018. http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/articles/1449/analyzing-female-gender-roles-in-marvel-comics-from-the-silver-age-1960-to-the-present.

  • This article is referring to a study done on comics regarding women’s roles in them throughout the years. It refers to a lot of statistics and numbers but mostly focuses on Marvel Comics for all of its data. this articles also attempts to determine why the statistics have changed so much over the years by analyzing the popular culture at the time and how women were being treated not only in comics but in real life.