Monstrous Bodies

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” ~ George Orwell

Assignments

Worksheet #1: Why Horror? - Twitter Introduction

Instructions:
1. Create a Twitter account, if you don’t already have one, at http://twitter.com/. Visit this site for some info. about what Twitter is and how to use it: http://www.squidoo.com/TwitterTutorial. Update your Twitter profile, making sure to add a picture and your full name. If you prefer to retain some amount of anonymity, you could add a unique graphic that stands in for you, and you can use your full first name and last initial. Then, find me (@Jessifer) and follow. Be sure to confirm your Twitter account in your e-mail.

2. Create a Disqus profile on
http://disqus.com/profile/signup. Connect using the Twitter account you just created. Be sure to confirm your Disqus account in your e-mail. Edit your profile in the Disqus account, again adding your name and using your Twitter picture as an Avatar.

3. After reading Jancovich’s introduction to
Horror, the Film Reader, look at the first entry I’ve written on our course blog and respond using the comments box. Feel free to answer any of my questions, agree or disagree with points I’ve raised, etc. Try to refer specifically to something from the reading in your comment. How does Jancovich address the issues I’ve explored in my post?

4. Blog comments should be approximately 100 - 200 words. These comments should be collaborative, as close to a real discussion as possible.  In other words, don’t just throw your ideas into a vacuum.  Instead, ask questions of each other and use the other comments as a jumping off point by answering questions, amplifying or complicating ideas, etc. You’ll be conversing with students from all of my sections of 1102, so you may not recognize everyone you’re talking with.

5. Use your new Twitter account to tweet a short excerpt from your blog comment. Include #monstersclass somewhere in your tweet.

6. Review the syllabus and come to class on Wednesday with any questions you have.
Worksheet #2: Monster Culture

Instructions:
1. Start by reading Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s “Monster Culture: Seven Theses" and the assigned pages from Grendel.

2. Go to our course blog and respond to one of the recent entries I’ve posted. Feel free to answer any of my questions, agree or disagree with points I’ve raised, etc. I mentioned before that blog comments should be approximately 100 - 200 words; however, I don’t want you to get too caught up in worrying about the length of your comments. The thoughtfulness of your ideas is more important than the word count. Feel free to go over, and don’t ever (ever ever ever) add unnecessary words just to meet the arbitrary requirement. Of course, several shorter comments take the place of one longer one.

3. Once you’ve written a comment, reply directly to the comment of one of your peers by clicking on the “reply” button just below their comment. As before, ask questions of each other and use the other comments as a jumping off point by answering questions, amplifying or complicating ideas, etc.

4. Again, use your new Twitter account to tweet a short excerpt from one of your blog comments. Include #monstersclass somewhere in your tweet.

5. That’s all. No need to send anything to me. I will engage with the discussions on the blog right along with you.
Worksheet #3: King Kong and Deconstruction

Instructions:
1. Go to our course blog and respond to one of the recent entries I’ve posted. I've added an entry about King Kong and deconstruction, but you are welcome to return to one of the previous topics as well.

2. Once you’ve written a comment, reply directly to the comment of at least two of your peers by clicking on the “reply” button just below their comment. As before, ask questions of each other and use the other comments as a jumping off point by answering questions, amplifying or complicating ideas, etc.

3. Again, tweet a short excerpt from one of your blog comments. Include #monstersclass somewhere in your tweet. This time find another hashtag where discussions are going on about something relevant to our class. This will involve a little bit of research on your part. You may want to refer back to the Twitter tutorial site: http://www.squidoo.com/TwitterTutorial. Please also include a link to the blog entry in your Tweet. Example: "King Kong disrupts the binary man/animal, pointing to new #posthuman existence of the industrial age: http://bit.ly/olVn0w #monstersclass" Try and get everything into one Tweet like I have (a challenging exercise in itself), but feel free to write follow-up tweets that continue your thought.

4. That’s all. No need to send anything to me.
Worksheet #4: The Twitter Essay

Instructions:
1. First, something slightly more formal on Twitter. I want you to write what I call a "Twitter-essay." In the next few weeks, we will return to some of the overarching questions of the course, so let's use this activity as a way for us to begin formulating the revised thinking we have about monstrosity, the human, horror, etc. Here are the instructions:

What is a monster? Answer in a Twitter essay of exactly 140 characters using #twitteressay. Play, innovate, incite. Don't waste a character.


(By the way, the instructions above are exactly 140 characters, so this will give you a sense for how much space you have to work with.) Post your "essay" on Twitter. The only rule is that you include the hashtag "#twitteressay" somewhere in your Tweet. You can add additional hashtags or links, but you can only write one Tweet and it must be exactly 140 characters. Feel free to address any aspect of monstrosity. (No need to use #monstersclass, unless it makes specific sense for you to include this hashtag.) You can offer a revised definition of the word "monster" or narrow in on a more specific aspect. Spend time carefully composing, making sure that every character of your tweet is necessary and meaningful. As you work, think also about the components of an essay: a hook, an argument, supporting evidence, etc. While you can take creative license in how you interpret this word "essay," you should at least be able to make an argument (if pressed) for how your Tweet functions as an "essay."

2. Now, peer review. Search #twitteressay on Twitter to see all of the Twitter essay tweets. Respond to (and, perhaps, retweet) at least two of the ones you find. In your response, analyze the choices the author made and/or offer additional thoughts. Include the author's handle and hashtag "#monstersclass" somewhere in your tweet. So, for example, if I were peer reviewing my own instructions:

@Jessifer's use of "incite" in the #TwitterEssay is unusual juxtaposed with "play." Incite often has negative connotations. #MonstersClass


(Note that the peer review tweet does not have to be
exactly 140 characters.)

3. Finally, go to our course blog and respond to one of the recent entries. I've added another entry about Limbo and a free for all forum, where you can put anything you've been thinking about related to our class but haven't had a space to share. As usual, make sure you are putting your own ideas out there but also responding directly to your peers.

4. That’s all. No need to send anything to me.