Monsters and the monstrous have been among the most compelling and frequently recurring elements in literature, from ancient times to the present day. From Homer's Cyclops to Ridley Scott's alien, monstrous figures have terrified and transfixed all those who come upon them. In this course, we will examine the figure of the monster to see what we might gain from our own encounter with the monstrous. Readings will include epic poems, novels, and critical selections from the burgeoning field of inquiry known as "monster studies." Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR option.