ENG 251: Film and Literature, Fall 2018
Section C2: Thursday, 8:30–11:15 am, G-235
CRN 10917


Brian T. Murphy

Bradley Hall, Y-16

e-mail: brian.murphy@ncc.edu

Schedule and Office Hours

Important Announcements and Updates

Monday, 12 November:
I have posted information about one more Extra Credit opportunity on the main page: Writing Center MLA Research and Documentation Workshops (1 point).


Wednesday, 7 November:
On Thursday, November 1, Annotated Bibliographies were due; only six students submitted them. We will talk about that tomorrow, as well as going over last week’s in-class writing. The readings for tomorrow are online, to save paper (and money): Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot. Read at least “Introduction,” “Robbie,” “Catch That Rabbit,” and “Little Lost Robot.” We will probably have a quiz, and then after discussing the stories watch  I, Robot (2004).

If you wish to submit a paper tomorrow, the topic for Response Paper 10 was posted last night:

The stories that comprise I, Robot were all originally published between 1940 and 1950. Considering that socio-cultural context, in what ways could Asimov’s portrayal of the struggle to define robots’ essential nature, to grant them essential rights and recognition, be read as allegorical?

Saturday, 27 October [Revised Sunday, 28 October]:
On Thursday, November 1,
Annotated Bibliographies are due; see instructions, here. There are no response paper topics or assigned readings, so that you can focus on finishing the assignment.

Thursday’s viewing will be The Android Prophecy: Are Robots a Threat?  and Robots: The Real History of Science Fiction. There will also be an in-class writing assignment, possibly based on last week’s viewing, The Golem (1920). (If you were absent, or if you were one of the students who spent most of the period looking at your phone instead of watching the movie–and consequently received a zero for the day–you should probably watch it before class next Thursday. It is available through the college library website, here.)

Also, I have posted two additional Extra Credit opportunities on the main page; two important speakers will be on campus in the coming weeks:

David Hogg
Parkland High School shooting survivor
Co-founder of March for Our Lives
Wednesday, November 28
11:00 am and 12:30 pm
CCB Multipurpose Room.


Imbolo Mbue,
author of Behold the Dreamers.
Wednesday, November 7
11:00 am and 2:00 pm
CCB Multipurpose Room.

Neither one has any connection to the class, so each is worth only one point, but I still strongly encourage you to attend one or both.

Wednesday, 17 October:
I have not yet posted academic progress reports, as I still have not received work from several students and I would rather not report grades of zero. We will therefore again try a
required in-class writing assignment tomorrow, based on your viewing of Young Frankenstein. I have also posted yet another Response Paper Topic, due October 25.

Wednesday, 10 October:
Since last week’s in-class essay went so well, we will give it another try tomorrow. There is a required in-class writing assignment based on the viewing; I suggest you take notes and complete the assignment this time, as I will be posting academic progress reports this weekend and some students grades are less than stellar.

Friday, 5 October:
The instructions for Response Paper Topic 5 yesterday were to submit an in-class essay by the end of the class, not notes. For students who failed to read and follow directions or who simply required more time to finish, I stated that you could take a picture of their notes from which to work and then email me your essay by the end of the day. As this assignment was also used to take attendance, several students who did not submit anything have not only received a zero for the assignment but have also been marked absent.

Saturday, 29 September:
One more last-minute Extra Credit opportunity has been added to the main page:

Women and Gender Studies and the Philosophy Department present
Kate Manne, author of
Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny
to speak about “Himpathy
(See “
Brett Kavanaugh and America’s ‘Himpathy’ Reckoning.” New York Times 26 Sep. 20018.)
Tuesday, October 2, at 1:00
CCB 252 

While not directly connected to our class readings and discussions, Ms. Manne’s presentation should be worth attending, so I will award extra credit to those attending.

Friday, 28 September:
I have posted information about two more Extra Credit opportunities on the main page: Academic Success Workshops and Learning Skills Workshops and Writing Center Grammar Review Workshops. Each individual workshop is worth one point, if you attend and provide evidence of attendance along with a typed one- to two-page personal response (review, analysis, reflection, critique, et cetera). While you may attend more than one workshop, you may not attend the same  workshop more than once for additional credit!

Thursday, 20 September:
The main page, continues to be updated regularly; remember to check for assigned readings, planned viewings, and so on.
The next two weeks look like this:

27 Sep.

Volume I, Chapter 5Volume II, Chapter 9  (40–105)  
Criticism and analysis: Peter Brooks, “What Is a Monster?” (368-390); Patrick Brantlinger, “The Reading Monster” (468-476); Jonathan Bate, “[Frankenstein and the State of Nature]” (476-480)

Viewing:  The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) 1, 2; Kenneth Branagh’s Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994);
James Whale’s Frankenstein (1931)  (Excerpts)

Research Topic Due
Response Paper 3 due

 4 Oct.

 Volume III, Chapter 1Chapter 7  (107–161)
 Criticism and analysis: TBA

Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927) 1,  2
James Whale’s Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Response Paper 4 due




Friday, 14 September:
I have posted information about two more Extra Credit opportunities on the main page, both again at The Morgan Library and Museum:

While focusing on a particular historical period, this exhibit does offer insights into definitions of monsters and the monstrous:

Medieval Monsters: Terrors, Aliens, Wonders
The Morgan Library and Museum

Only through September 23!


College Night 2018–Monster Masquerade

The Morgan Library and Museum

Thursday, October 18, 2018, 6–8 pm
Free for students with valid ID.
Online reservation required:

Friday, September 7:
I have posted a revised and corrected
syllabus; if you were not in class on Wednesday, download and print out a copy. Once you have read and familiarized yourself with it, detach and complete the last page to be submitted in class next week.

In addition, I have posted the first of many Extra Credit opportunities on the main page:

It's Alive! Frankenstein at 200
The Morgan Library and Museum
225 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016
(212) 685-0008

Commemorating the two hundredth anniversary of Frankenstein—a classic of world literature and a masterpiece of horror—a new exhibition at the Morgan shows how Mary Shelley created a monster. It traces the origins and impact of her novel, which has been constantly reinterpreted in spinoffs, sequels, mashups, tributes and parodies. Shelley conceived the archetype of the mad scientist, who dares to flout the laws of nature, and devised a creature torn between good and evil. Her monster spoke out against injustice and begged for sympathy while performing acts of shocking violence. In the movies, the monster can be a brute pure and simple, yet he is still an object of compassion and remains a favorite on stage and screen.”

Exhibit and numerous events, October 12, 2018 through January 27, 2019


Hammer Horror: A Frankenstein Septet
The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019

“Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, published in 1818, has inspired hundreds of films; in 1910 Thomas Edison produced the first cinematic version in his Bronx studio, starring Charles Stanton Ogle as the monster. Hollywood audiences fell in love with Frankenstein after the 1931 Universal Pictures version, featuring Boris Karloff’s iconic block-headed, neck-bolted creature and the hysterical doctor’s spectacular laboratory of tesla coils and steam-spewing equipment, all in glorious black and white.

“In 1957, the British production company Hammer Films produced the first of its seven Frankenstein films, which focused more on the Gothic aspects of the book and the obsession, ambition, and guilt of the doctor (usually played by Peter Cushing). These films overflow with mournful music, overwrought Victorian décor and costumes, lusty characters, and decidedly more disfigured, wrathful monsters—all amplified by a highly artificial, gruesome color palette that makes even a glimpse of blood into a horrifying experience.”

Seven different films, with multiple screenings, October 1218, 2018

If students attend one or more of these events, and provide evidence of attendance (ticket stub, program, unretouched digital image, et cetera) along with a typed one- to two-page personal response (review, analysis, reflection, critique, et cetera), they can receive additional points: a single event and written response is worth 2 points extra credit unless otherwise noted.

Wednesday, September 5:
The main page and syllabus have been updated.
Our first meeting is tomorrow at 8:30 in G Building, Room 311.

Monday, July 16:
The main page and syllabus will both be updated before the start of the Fall 2018 semester.
Classes begin on Tuesday, September 4; our first meeting is at 8:30 on Thursday, September 6 in G Building, Room 311.

Note: For Fall 2018, ENG 251-C2 is Frankenstein-themed in honor of the 200th anniversary of its publication.
All readings and viewings will be connected to the classic Mary Shelley text and its interpreters.

The class page for Fall 2017, the last time I taught this class, is located here.
If you are looking for the previous announcements, they are here.



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