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While monsters come in all shapes and sizes, to serve purposes both gratifying and disturbing, to be loved or hated (often both at the same time), the one common denominator that unites them all is their function as an Other. Within the pages of this volume, monsters and monstrous beings await you, the reader.
We are defined by what we are not, both for the good and for the bad, and it is the monster that most clearly forms this identity. Whether it is an image that repulses us, frightens us, or ultimately we turn to embrace, the monster and the monstrous define the very emotional drives that make us human. Without them there are no heroes. But more important, without them we are left unable to express those emotions that lurk at the very heart of our psyche and find release only in the darkest shadows of our own creations. Whether the monsters are real or imaginary, fierce or friendly, they exist so that we can escape. What this conference hopes to provide is the closet door, closed to the demons of the night. Step up, turn the knob, and let’s see what waits on the other side.
Table of Contents
Opening Remarks at the Conference on “Monsters and Monstrosity: Myths and Metaphors of Enduring Evil”
Session 1 Monsters Communist and Nazi
Monstrification of the Monster: How Ceaucescu Became the ‘Red Vampire’
Peter Mario Kreuter
Nazi Demons and Sicilian Monsters
Session 2 Monsters Down South and in the Big City
From Aliens to African American Creatures Two Examples of Monsters in Ecuadorian Short Stories
Wladimir Chavez V.
Session 3 Monsters Hopeful and Friendly
New Territories: Biology, Architecture, and the Hopeful Monster
We Scare Because We Care: How Monsters Make Friends in Animated Feature Films
Session 4 Frankenstein and Friends
Frankenstein to Frankenberry: Morphing of the Monster Myth in Pop Culture
Paul L. Yoder
Frankenstein: Mary Shelley’s Horror of Split Consciousness
Session 5 Monster Medicinal
Invading Boundaries: Hybrids, Disease, and Empire
Session 6 Monsters Miscellaneous
Vengeful Virgins in White: Female Monstosity in Asian Cinema
Little Mermaids Swimming in the Patriarchal Sea
Monsters in the Roman Sky: Heaven and Earth in Manilius’ Astronomica
Session 7 Monsters Attack
From Bluebeard and The Robber Bridegroom to “ Buffalo Bill” and “Hannibal the Cannibal”: A Look at Two Recurring Characters in Art
Creature Conflict: Man, Monster and the Metaphor of Intractable Social Conflict
Session 8 Monsters Medieval Revisited
There Is No Hero Without a Dragon: A Revisionist Interpretation of the Myth of St. George and the Dragon
Session 9 Monsters Undead and Giant
Vamp-irony: The Bestiality of the Socratic Irony
Tracking the Zombie Diaspora: From Subhuman Haiti to Posthuman Tuscon
The Ethical Ambiguity of the Monster: Good and Evil as Human Possibilities in Michel Tournier’s Le Roi des Aulnes
Session 10 Monsters Psychological
The Sick and the Dead: Some Vampires, Soren Kierkegaard, and the American Psychiatric Association
Monsters in Isolation and Monsters-at-Large: The American Psychodrama and its Practical Application
Session 11 Monsters of Childhood
Where the Wild Things Are: Sendak’s Picture Book and the Monsters Personified, Sanctified, and Glorified
Dysmorphic Bodies of Alice in Wonderland
Depraved Paedos and Other Beasts: The Media Portrayal of CHild Sexual Abusers in Ireland and the U.K.
Notes on Contributors
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Paul L. Yoder, Saint Louis University, United States.
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