Snakes, spiders, ravenous dogs, oh my! And these things used to be human, you say?
This summer, our theme is COLAMVS HVMANITATEM. With your theme projects, you will explore exactly what this means. That being said, my hope is that in this class we will discover what happens when our theme is absent. What happens when we strip someone of their humanity?
In this course, we will critically examine monsters. We are going to do a deep dive into monster theory: what makes them scary, what connects them, what makes them popular, and what makes them…human. Monsters, after all, are our children. We created them, so we should learn what they represent to each of us.
Each class, we will study a set of thesis statements concerning monsters. We will look at some modern examples before critically examining classical monsters via Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Specifically, the stories and mythology of Medusa, Arachne, and Scylla will be our primary lens to look through as we examine the implications of Ovid’s text. Additionally, we will explore some of our own fears and experiences that have shaped our conceptions of humanity and monstrosity.
Sounds heavy, right? Noli timere! As much as monsters can be scary or dark, we are going to have a lot of fun together. I personally can’t wait to hear the stories and connections you all make to your experiences and interests. The beautiful thing about monsters is that they are always evolving, catering themselves to each cultural moment and context. And sometimes things get hilariously weird… I’m looking at you Tribbles!
You don’t need to do any prep work beforehand, other than having your notes and minds ready to begin. I am looking forward to seeing you all soon!
This blog with document the 2021 session of the Virginia Governor's Latin Academy.