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iConnect 2007-2008

ICON 100-01: I Write the Monster; The Monster Writes Me
Andrew Prall

We will discuss the author as monster, embracing and resisting notions of literary genre and social conventions. We will ask: in what way is the act of writing similar to the act of creating a monster? How do poets, novelists, and theorists breathe new life into literary genres through the creation of “monster” hybrid texts? By examining works that seek to blur the lines between poetry and fiction, visual art and poetry, text and image and by trying to create some of our own monsters, we will explore and question the importance of monsters and their relationship to society. In this exploration, we might find that human nature has the ability to transform itself, to create new monsters constantly. As described by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri in their book Multitude, the problem of humanity’s constant and monstrous self-transformation is “no longer deciding whether to accept these human techniques of transformation but learning what to do with them and discerning whether they will work to our benefit or detriment” (196). Therefore, we will ask: how does one evaluate a monster? Should we directly engage a monster, or should we simply run away?

ICON 100-02 Monsters, Freedom and Responsibility
Lawrence Wiedman

The instructor plans to investigate prehistoric “monsters” including dinosaurs as well as mythical monsters i.e. Big Foot, Loch Nessie, Luska, Dragons, Trolls, and the Tooth Fairy to facilitate the transition students are making to college life has to be wrapped around the concepts of Freedom and Responsibility.

ICON 100-03 Margins, Monsters, and Me
Earl Kumfer

Fictional and real life figures who stand at the center and edges of our lives will be examined as paradigms for dealing with that which we do not understand but cannot ignore. Among others we consider St Francis’ lepers, Horton the Elephant, Hitler, the Golem, Mother Theresa of Calcutta, the Matrix. We will identify what we interpret as serious threats or mistakes (monster and nemeses) or models (heroes and martyrs) as we shape our development (as individuals and cultures). Figurative language and images will be used as tools of indirect and reflective analysis. Plenary and small group work will characterize most classroom activity. Readings, interviews and experimentation will provide resource information for group discussion and projects. Course materials will include books, film, video and internet searches.

This section is uniquely linked to and scheduled immediately after a section of English Composition (ENGL 101). Activities and assignments of both courses are consciously coordinated to promote integrated learning and student collaboration in learning communities.

ADVISORS: For maximum benefit, the student should be registered in both ICON 100-03 and ENGL 101(section number to be announced)

ICON 100-04 Monsters, Global Village and Character
Kristina Bowman

The Dynamic Global Business Environment: Friend to the World or Out of Control Monster? Readings from “The World is Flat” are planned to address the global issues that face society from a business/technology perspective. This text will be presented to illustrate the impact, both positive and negative, of globalization on all of us as global citizens. A debate format supplemented with a PBS video series will be used to discuss the globalization issue, specifically, “Is Wal-Mart Good for America?”.