Term of Award

Spring 2024

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of English

Committee Chair

Kendra R. Parker

Committee Member 1

Lindsey Chappell

Committee Member 2

Joe Pellegrino

Committee Member 3

Amanda Konkle

Committee Member 3 Email



The Monster Mash is a course proposal for an upper-division undergraduate literature course focused on exploring monsters in literature and building connections between classic and more contemporary texts using high-impact practices (HIPs) with student success in mind. I build on previous work in the field of Monster Studies and introduce my own original monster pattern that prompts students to interpret monsters as they trek through Origin, Separation, Power, Threat, and Diminishment. This pattern highlights commonalities when it comes to the representation of monsters and their stories, allowing students to identify them across texts. I also divide monsters into three categories and use these to structure the course: Creations, Transformations, and Disconnections. Using these frameworks and an intertextual approach, students will craft original arguments that engage with scholarly conversations about monsters. In this course, I incorporate a range of media from novels and novellas to graphic novels and films, so students will perform both textual and visual literary analysis. I position three classic nineteenth-century texts as foundational monster myths and use these to track connections with the rest of the monsters in the course. The three central texts are Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, and The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. The more contemporary texts include Dawn by Octavia E. Butler, Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Lisa Sterle, and The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab as well as three films—Edward Scissorhands, Nimona, and Interview with the Vampire. Using a combination of Monster Studies, historical contexts, and critical theory, students analyze each monster with the intersections between race, class, gender, sexuality, and disability in mind. Students also develop their writing and presentation skills while building their intellectual confidence through regular discussions and scaffolded assignments.

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