Monsters We Make: Teaching Othering and Privilege Through the Lens of Horror

  • Chloe N. Clark (Iowa State University)


For the past five years, I’ve taught an English 250 class on Monsters & Othering. This class uses the gaze of horror and monster theory to examine how groups use othering to ostracize, take away agency, and de-privilege non-majority groups. The class works by examining ways monsters and horror have been used throughout history to either uphold the status quo through fear tactics or, more recently, to confront those tactics head on and flip the script on oppression (such as in the film Get Out). So how can we set up a syllabus that makes this actually meaningful to students who have rarely confronted these issues themselves? What conflicts arise in the classroom because of this topic and how can we use those conflicts in productive ways of teaching? Finally, can this kind of teaching focus actually make a difference?



Published on
28 Feb 2019