Literature of Horror, Fantasy & Sci-Fi

Course Blog for LMST345 Ringling College of Art

The Monster Gazes Into a Pool from Lynd Ward's illustrations for Frankenstein
Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein is a text that is frequently used to start a discussion of speculative fiction. It is often pointed to as the first "science fiction" novel, a category that is invented some hundred years after the novel was published. It is also considered a significant work of "gothic" fiction. The name "Frankenstein" is still associated with the genre of horror as every Halloween, thousands of children quite readily attempt to personify and embody the monster of Mary Shelley's imagination. What better place to start our own perambulation through speculative fiction, so I would like to request that you read as much of the novel as you can before we meet for the first time on Thursday morning.

Reading Assignment: Read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. You can access an electronic version of the text on the course resource page which is linked here and in the box in the upper right of this page. To access the course resources use your Ringling username and password.

In class this week we will discuss Frankenstein, the beginnings of horror fiction, the formulations of the gothic and the nature of the sublime. You may wish to attend class before attempting this week's written assignment.

Writing Assignment: Post a response (approx. 250 - 350 wds.) on your blog page discuss some of the "gothic" aspects of Frankenstein or whatever text you read for this week. If you have read Frankenstein before please choose from among the alternate texts for something to read for this week.

During the semester I will expect you to read at least 7 novels or long reads, this can count as one of them. To see further what is required in this course and what will undertake please click on the link at the right to go to the course syllabus. I will update you during our first class meeting. The general requirement for the class is that you read each week and write about what you have read.

Please bring your notebook computers or tablet to class; they will be used for in-class reading and writing. Your writings will be required to be posted on your own class blog which I will link to this page. You should set up a blog for this class on Blogger or similar blogging network and send me the url for your blog as soon as possible. Remember to include in your email the link to your blog and indicate which course you have signed up for since all my courses have blogs.

Some readings and other materials will be available on the Course Resource Page which is linked to this page in the Course Links box. You will prompted to enter your Ringling username and password to enter the Resource area. You will find a copy of a text of Frankenstein there as well.

You may wish to write about Frankenstein before coming to the first class, but you may wait to do so until you understand more about the course. You can always revise your post at any time. Most students who take this course enjoy the readings and find they can manage the course load within the demands of their schedule.  Individualized reading programs are readily constructed for students who need one.  If you have issues that effect your ability to read or write please talk to me as soon as possible. See you in class..

Dr. Steiling


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