Students address the monster inside at the Moody

Monster showcaseDeath masks covered in mirror shards and discarded eyelashes and a Medusa-like sculpture of tangled hands emerging from behind a face were among the projects displayed April 24 at an exhibition titled “Monster.” The show at the Moody Center for the Arts was the culmination of the popular collaborative course “Monster: Conceiving and Misconceiving the Monstrous in Fiction and in Art, in Medicine and in Bioscience.”

The course has been jointly taught by Michael Gustin, professor of biochemistry and cell biology, and Deborah Harter, associate professor of classical and European studies, since 2015, when it became the first Rice course cross-listed in both biosciences and the humanities. This year, Gustin and Harter added a third facet to their interdisciplinary class: Joshua Bernstein, lecturer in painting and drawing, who helped students address the monstrous through art and how our conceptions of monsters illuminate our identity, perceptions and fears.

Students debuted their work at the Moody after a semester spent studying everything from disabilities and genetic mutations to Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” and Jordan Peele’s Oscar-winning film “Get Out.” (Photos by Katharine Shilcutt)

Monster showcase


About Katharine Shilcutt

Katharine Shilcutt is a media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.