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CAS 420-02: Monsters, Mutants & Meaning

Instructor: Hanlon

In this course, students will investigate what it means to be human through exploration of genetic mutations and ideas of otherness.  Congenital abnormalities were historically viewed with morbid curiosity; individuals were put on display to scare and tantalize the pubic. With the advent of genetic technology, we now characterize these differences as avenues for research with potentials for cures. Students will have the opportunity to explore various mutations and will be asked to consider their current ideas of mutations, normalcy, and other complex societal issues. No previous knowledge of genetics is necessary for this course. For their signature work, students are encouraged to leverage their creativity and curiosity in fields such as biology, history, psychology, policy, and pop culture to examine how mutations affect their understanding of self and their place in the world.