The following CFP is relatively broad, and the organizers welcome papers from scholars who work in Victorian literature or the long 19th century. The ACLA deadline is September 23, 2015. Applicants can submit a proposal at the ACLA website: www.acla.org. Please direct inquiries to Janice Zehentbauer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monsters: Theory, Translation, Transbiology
Organizer: Cristina Santos, Brock University
Co-Organizer: Janice Zehentbauer
From the enduring popularity of narratives such as Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) to television series, such as the anthology American Horror Story, our cultures appear to be obsessed with bodies and psyches deemed “monstrous.” Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, editor of the collection of essays Monster Theory: Reading Culture, proposes that monster’s body is a cultural body, a body that cannot be categorically confined, but exists to problematize and to escape any categories we may create. In their 2012 text Speaking of Monsters: A Teratological Anthology, editors Caroline Joan (Kay) S. Picart and John Edgar Browning contend that the monstrous is “always already global,” because it can and does escape national borders and notions of universality. Jack Halberstam, in Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and Technology of Monsters, similarly posits that monsters’ bodies are “[...] mobile, permeable and infinitely interpretable [...]” and that the monster is an “economic form in that it condenses various racial and sexual threats to nation, capitalism, and the bourgeoisie in one body.” Elsewhere, Halberstam asserts that monsters of contemporary fiction and film could be productively read as “transbiological” due to their assemblage of human, animal, and machine. Our panel starts from relatively broad questions: what is monstrous? How do monsters permeate cultures and national borders? How might monstrosity be translated? Can monstrosity be translated? We welcome interdisciplinary papers that explore facets, elements, and assemblages of the “monstrous,” from B.C.E. texts and art to works in the twenty-first century.