Maria E Garcia
Intensive readings in specific topic. Students complete individual research projects. Satisfies the CHID senior thesis requirement. Prerequisite: CHID 390.
MONSTERS AND ALIENS: ENCOUNTERING OTHERS. This research seminar is designed to help students conceptualize, develop and finish significant research projects in a single quarter. It should be useful for a wide range of students—students with varying degrees of research experience and with varied research interests. The class can be applied towards the CHID senior thesis requirement or it can be used to develop a stand-alone research project. The topic for this year’s research seminar is the theme of “otherness.” More specifically, we will engage non-human otherness and take non-human agency seriously. What happens when we consider the possibility that “rocks listen” and “earth-beings” (such as rivers and glaciers) speak? Are spiders and snails self-aware? Can robots suffer? We will also tackle theoretical and artistic renditions of monstrosity and alien-ness, from the genetic manipulation of animal bodies, to the torture of human bodies, to the proliferation of zombies. It is my hope that our rigorous examination of these and other issues will serve as windows through which we can view the workings of alterity and marginalization as well as survey pathways to alternative and better futures.
There are many limitations to completing research projects within the space of a quarter. With this in mind, this course tries to maximize the amount of time students can spend focused on their own projects. The first five weeks will be spent developing a common language by reading an assigned set of readings and discussing these texts in an intensive seminar setting. At the end of four weeks, I will expect participants to write a brief research proposal (more details on this below). During the second five weeks each student will work toward the completion of a research project. In order to help facilitate this, students will meet in small research clusters. I will also meet individually with each student at this time.
As we proceed through the quarter, students will learn skills useful in developing future research projects, such as proposal writing and working with primary and secondary sources. Students are encouraged to use a medium that best fits their goals although each project must incorporate a written component.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading