Apr5Monsters - Monsters Nordic and Otherwise April 5 2010...

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Unformatted text preview: Monsters Nordic and Otherwise April 5, 2010 Business as Usual FYI on CULearn Upcoming events with Fjellborg Vikings: Viking Experience: Sunday April 18 Burns, "Gandalf and Odin" and "On Norse and Christian Gods" Smith on Tolkien's use of the Fuark Harpa Festival: Saturday April 17 Viking kit required if participating Schedule adjustment: Office hours today 11:00 1:50; office hours on Wednesday canceled Members only, but CU students who are volunteering or participating are invited Bring food to share (must be "period") Monster Theory With a Norse Twist Intro and Thesis I The monster as a hybrid, characterized by its monstrous body, escapes categorization Monster as an embodiment of a certain cultural moment signifying something other than itself Loki's children signifying the inevitability of Ragnark Grendel and his mother signifying the over expansion of Hrothgar's kingdom issue lost in 13th Warrior, but present in Zemeckis' version Thesis II The monster always escapes each escape marks a moment in time, a continuum Loki, Fenrir, Hel, Jrmungand Protocol shall be followed, but only postponing the inevitable Time defined by escapes, existence (the here and now) only our wait for the next escape The mother and the leader dead in the 13th Warrior, but tribe still existing Thesis III The monster refuses easy categorization incorporates and explores the extreme invites new investigations Draugar as living dead, neither dead nor alive Loki and his offspring neither gods nor giants Thrown out to the most extreme peripheries Through their challenge invite the new world even if they themselves excluded from it Grendel referred to by name as cannot be categorized; ambiguity missing in 13th warrior The monster is always an outsider, resides Thesis IV in the periphery, disrespects every boundary cast out by justification of the insiders, their persecution providing source for the "heroic" act The gods casting the giants into the periphery Loki's complete disrespect for all boundaries The gods' casting of Loki's children into exile Thor's ongoing battle with Jrmungand Grendel's attacks as a frame for Beowulf's heroic deeds Thesis V The monster as a border police and a threat what can and will happen to you if you cross racial, sexual, ethnic, gender or political boundaries arbitrary boundaries Loki's countless transgressions personified in his children, the outcasts Also Loki's punishment after Baldr's death Grendel's mother Draugar, the living dead Thesis VI The monster attracts, we desire and envy its freedom, seek to explore it feel horror only when monster seeks (re)entry to center; attempt to neutralize with comedy Loki's attraction and characteristics How changed when moment of Ragnark is finally upon the world Thesis VII Monsters are our children through their creation we make sense of our world, explain our perceptions and excuse our intolerance Jrmungand as a monster and a protector Hel as a monster and guardian/caretaker Grendel's mother as a monster and a mother Loki as a provider, trickster, and destroyer Literalized in Zemeckis' Beowulf For Recitations The "popularization" of Nordic Myth and Religion The Nordic Monster Discussing the various popular media (film, video games, comic books, manga, anime etc. etc) what are some of the depictions of Nordic monsters you can think of? Do they have anything in common? How "accurate" are those depictions, how creative and/or how stereotypical? How might they affect contemporary views of Nordic mythology or religion? Schedule adjustment: Office hours today, Monday 11:001:50; office hours on Wednesday canceled Readings: Cohen, "Monster Culture (Seven Theses)" (From Monster Theory, CULearn); Miura, Berserk, Vol. 1 Tuesday: Quiz from Cohen and Berserk Tuesday: Quiz from Cohen and Wednesday: Berserk discussed Wednesday: Schedule Review prior readings on Loki, Jrmungandr, Fenrir and Hel, as well as Beowulf Recitations: The "popularizing" of Nordic myth and religion ...
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