“The horror! The horror!”: That Monster is a Thing and That Thing is Me


  • Shanta Lee
Sept 4th, 11:30-2:30pm EST
Sept 11th, 11:30-2:30pm EST
Sept 18th, 11:30-2:30pm EST
Sept 25th, 11:30-2:30pm EST

Registration is closed.


Share this class

“The horror! The horror!”: That Monster is a Thing and That Thing is Me

This workshop includes 4 sessions.

Across our culture, monsters have taken on every form that ranges from the stories we have told and retold about the figure of the vampire to a range of stories that are unique to different regions of our country (for example, the boo hag — a witch who could slip out of her human skin — is specific to Gullah culture in the south). Within literature, the figure of the monster circles the globe from what resides within a range of holy traditions to old stories like the Chinese tale of “The Painted Skin.”

Given that we are the tellers of the tale, the monster is a part of our psyche. And alongside this legacy of the tales of the monster have been moments of history raising the question of who is the real monster? The creatures we have created on screen, on figures that appear on the page, or the reflection staring back at us? We can point to everything from the phenomenon of witch trials around the globe through history to the stories that continue to fill headlines about what humans are doing to other humans. Of course the most obvious monsters we can point to reside in the constant resurfacing of the serial killer in ways that invite us to explore who and why they are. The who within this inquiry of the figure of the monster is being reflected in shows like the Hulu series Monsterland and Jordan Peele’s film, Us, to name a few examples.

In both of those examples, human behavior and the ways we try to hide the monstrous or dark parts of ourselves is presented in a way that erodes the line of the other when it comes to scary creatures thus making it clear that the monster resides within us. Specific to these examples, and many others, ourselves as the scary creature is reflected in the way that is uttered in the last lines of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness by the main character, Kurtz screaming out, The horror! The horror!”

What can we explore within our psyche, lived experiences, or what we have taken in that will cause us to scream our own version of these lines on the page?

This workshop will explore ways we can uncover the grotesque, the scary, the horrid and wretched when it comes to exploring who or what is the monster on the page in verse and prose. Over the next several weeks in September, we are going to look at the ways that the monster has been fashioned and created within snippets of podcasts based on true events, on screen and on the page as we create our own.

This is an invitation to erode the line between the monster that is separate from the monster that is the human. You have been warned. Come prepared to monster with us!

About Shanta Lee

“I love extending an invitation into my world and passions through my photography, poetry, and prose. Across my broad range of skills, I most appreciate surfacing the unseen. What is someone’s story under the surface of their face and presentation? What is forgotten to human memory that should be reclaimed? Or, most simply, how can I share the sense or soul of a place with someone who may not ever travel there? I have an endless hunger to ask questions, create conversation through visual or written commentary, and journey into the unknown through my various creative endeavors or collaborations. Even if what I unearth through some of these adventures scare me.”

About Virtual Classes

Virtual classes are usually based on video conferencing. At the moment we use Zoom. Instructors may utilize email as well as the specific ‘class page’ to share materials.

Class pages are accessible to students through their account page.  CLICK HERE to visit your account.

Each class is different, and Ruth Stone House allows a wide degree of freedom to instructors as to how they run their classes. If you miss a class or have technical problems you can request a video link to the class you missed. 

Technical requirements:

In order to attend a Zoom based class, make sure you meet these technical requirements: Click here

We also require that you have access to email service to use Ruth Stone House Classroom.

Have more questions? CONTACT US.

Financial Aid

FInancial aid is applied for on a class by class basis. Not all classes offer financial aid. There is a limited amount of funding available, and aid is awarded in the order received.

This financial aid form is for:

“The horror! The horror!”: That Monster is a Thing and That Thing is Me

Join the mailing list