First Edition   ©2016


A Bedford Spotlight Reader

Andrew J. Hoffman

  • ISBN-10: 1-4576-9030-6; ISBN-13: 978-1-4576-9030-3; Format: Paper Text, 320 pages

A brief and versatile reader about monsters at an affordable price

Monsters explores questions about the central concept of the monstrous: Why do we create monsters? Are they animal, human, both, or neither? Which of our fears and desires do monsters embody? What can monsters tell us about our cultural and historical moments? How do we cope with the monsters that haunt our imaginations—and our societies? Readings by classic poets, contemporary fiction writers, pop culture critics, philosophers, psychologists, occultists, veterinarians, ethicists, historians, and others take up these questions and more. Questions and assignments for each selection provide a range of activities for students to write about vampires, zombies, creatures from Greek myths, serial killers, classic horror movie monsters, and more strange things that go bump in the night.

The Bedford Spotlight Reader Series is an exciting new line of single-theme readers, each reflecting Bedford’s trademark care and quality. An editorial board of more than a dozen compositionists at schools with courses focusing on specific themes assist in the development of the series. Each reader collects thoughtfully chosen selections sufficient for an entire writing course—about 30 pieces—to allow instructors to provide carefully developed, high-quality instruction at an affordable price. Bedford Spotlight Readers are designed to help students from all majors make sustained inquiries from multiple perspectives, opening up topics such as money, food, border crossings, sustainability, and gender to critical analysis. The readers are flexibly arranged in thematic chapters, with each chapter focusing in depth on a different facet of the central topic. The Web site for the Spotlight Series offers comprehensive instructor support with sample syllabi and additional teaching resources.

This is an intriguing and engaging look at the place monsters hold in our psyche. From science fiction to real-life monsters, the reader covers all of them and helps students look closely and critically at what the term ‘monster’ conveys.
 —Christine Howell, Metropolitan Community College–Penn Valley