Drawing Danger: Making Monsters:
Designing Theme-Based Curriculum
a presentation by Olivia Gude
Operating in the space between fear and desire, teens at Spiral Workshop investigated contemporary culture through monster metaphors. Develop awareness of how to structure compelling curriculum combining Gude's Principles of Possibility with student-centered content. Through the study of the monster genre in stories, images, and movies, the students explore how political, cultural, racial, sexual, and economic differences tend to be portrayed as monstrous deviations from a comfortable normalcy.
The students experimented with shading, color, and composition to create monstrous effects. Recognizing that fearfulness is often signaled by dramatic conventions, the students developed an “elements and principles of horror.” Elements include the many monsters of myth and contemporary culture—from Grendell to Freddie Kruger. Principles included such fear signals as dripping blood, seeing the shadow of an unseen figure, a stormy night, or a dangling phone.
Drawing Danger: Making Monsters explored the relationship between fear and attraction, between self and other. We gained a greater understanding of how culture constructs and uses monsters to contain its deepest fears. We also learned that “The Monster Always Escapes.”
Download condensed version of OMG's NAEA Monster presentation:
Spiral Faculty: Nick Gorisch & Abby Neisendorf
2005 Spiral Workshop Directors: Olivia Gude & Jessica Poser