CFP – Monsters and the Monstrous

Posted on May 8, 2007


Monsters and the Monstrous:  Myths and Metaphors of Enduring Evil

Monday 17th September – Thursday 20th September 2007
Mansfield College, Oxford, United Kingdom

This inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary conference seeks to investigate and explore the enduring influence and imagery of monsters and the monstrous on human culture throughout history. In particular, the project will have a dual focus with the intention of examining specific ‘monsters’ as well as assessing the role, function and consequences of persons, actions or events identified as ‘monstrous’. The history and contemporary cultural influences of monsters and monstrous metaphors will also be examined.

Perspectives are sought from those engaged in the fields of literature, media studies, cultural studies, history, anthropology, philosophy, psychology, sociology, health and theology. Ideas are welcomed from those involved in academic study, fictional
explorations, and applied areas (e.g. youth work, criminology and medicine).

Papers, reports, work-in-progress and workshops are invited on issues related to any of the following themes:

  • The “monster” through history
  • Civilization, monsters and the monstrous
  • Children, childhood, stories and monsters; monsters and parents
  • Comedy: funny monsters and/or making fun of monsters (e.g. Monsters Inc, the Addams Family)
  • Making monsters; monstrous births
  • Mutants and mutations
  • Technologies of the monstrous
  • Horror, fear and scar
  • Do monsters kill because they are monstrous or are they monstrous because they kill?
  • How critical to the definition of “monster” is death or the threat of death?
  • Human ‘monsters’ and ‘monstrous’ acts? e.g, perverts, paedophiles and serial killers
  • The monstrous and gender
  • Revolution and monsters; the monstrous and politics; enemies (political/social/military) and monsters
  • Iconography of the monstrous
  • The popularity of the modern monsters; the Mummy, Dracula, Frankenstein, Vampires
  • The monster in literature
  • The monstrous in popular culture: film, television, theatre, radio, print, internet. The monstrous and journalism
  • Religious depictions of the monstrous; the monstrous and the supernatural
  • Metaphors and the monstrous
  • The monstrous and war, war reportage / propaganda

Papers will also be accepted which deal solely with specific monsters.

Papers will be considered on any related theme. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 11th May 2007. If your paper is accepted for presentation at the conference, an 8 page draft paper should be submitted by Friday 24th August 2007.

300 word abstracts should be submitted to both the Organising Joint Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, PDF or RTF formats.

Rob Fisher
Wickedness Net
Freeland, Oxfordshire
United Kingdom

Stephen Morris
Independent Scholar
New York, USA