Sunday, 4 December 2011

CFP: 10th Global Conference: Monsters and the Monstrous

Monday 10th September – Thursday 13th September 2012

Mansfield College, Oxford

Call for Papers:

For this 10th Anniversary of the Monsters and the Monstrous Project we are looking forward to the future, and so are starting from Franco Moretti’s comment that “the monster expresses the anxiety that the future will be monstrous.” Our focus then will be on Monsters of the Future, no matter from which time or place that future is viewed. So whether the present is Medieval, Renaissance, Enlightenment, Romantic, Modernist or Post Modernist it is the ways that, as further noted by Moretti, a “new order of beings” makes manifest the terror of an unknown and uncontrollable tomorrow and the forms these creatures take.

As such the monster becomes not the return of the repressed but an immanent Imaginary that constantly harasses and harangues the borders of the Real. Just as Grendel, Caliban, Frankenstein’s Monster, Dr. Moreau’s creatures and the clones from Blade Runner can be seen to manifest a hybrid future that blurs the borders between human/non-human, the humane and the in-humane, the converse is equally true where the tomorrow they envision is as much degenerative as it is evolutionary. Here, as in Wells’ the Time Machine, or Lovecraft’s Mountains of Madness, the future is in fact a portal to the past and that the true anxiety we feel is not for inevitable change but for a monstrous stasis that, like the vampire, will lock us forever in a never-ending present (not unlike Wittgenstein’s immortality of the never-ending moment). This then is a call for monstrous visions of the future, whether it is a new and alien land or one that is only too familiar; for the Post-Human, the Non-Human and the Anti-Human, the Robot, the Golem and the Cyborg, the Pure-bred, the Hybrid and the Mudblood, the Unborn, the Unliving and the Undead.

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

Monstrous Places/Spaces of the Future:
~The city, the town, the home of the future
~Environmental disasters, global warming, nuclear meltdowns, plagues and terra incognito
~New Worlds, forgotten worlds, undiscovered worlds: Atlantis, Shangri-la, Eldorado

Human Monsters:
~Medical experimentation, cloning, reproduction
~Cyborgs, robots and inanimate bodies made real
~Hybrids, both real and supernatural, post-human and beyond human
~Evolution and degeneration
~Actual bodies and supernatural bodies.
~Monsterisation of the human body: fragmentation, surgical modification and bodies without organs

Monstrous Aliens & Alien Invaders:
~Invasions of unknown beings, conquistadors, Martians, heavenly or alien life forms
~Humans as invaders, Starship Troopers, Iain M. Banks’ The Culture
~Parasites, diseases, flora and influences

Monstrous Generations:
~The glorification of Youth, Logan’s Run and In Time
~Monstrous adolescents
~Demonic children and alien babies
~Middle-aged zombies and serial killers, possessed grandparents
~Romantacising the Monster: Paranormal Romance, dark lovers and heroes, Twilight, Vampire Diaries and Dexter.

Monstrous Politics:
~Protest, revolt and revolution
~Zombie Capitalism and undead labour
~Class, status and the aristocracy
~Post colonialism, diasporas and migration
~Ageism, sexism, health-ism and separatism e.g, District 9, Metropolis, Matrix, Daybreakers

Papers can be accepted which deal solely with specific monsters. This project will run concurrently with our project on The Erotic – we welcome any papers considering the problems or addressing issues on Monsters and The Erotic for a cross-over panel. We also welcome pre-formed panels on any aspect of the monstrous or in relation to crossover panel(s).

300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 16th March 2012. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 22nd June 2012. Abstracts should be submitted to the Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats, following this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) up to 10 keywords

E-mails should be entitled: Monsters Abstract Submission

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). Please note that a Book of Abstracts is planned for the end of the year. All accepted abstracts will be included in this publication. We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs

Sorcha Ni Fhlainn
School of English, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

Rob Fisher
Network Founder & Leader, Inter-Disciplinary.Net
Freeland, Oxfordshire
United Kingdom

Simon Bacon

The aim of the conference is to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting. All papers accepted for and presented at this conference are eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be invited to go forward for development into a themed ISBN hard copy volume. Some papers may also be invited for inclusion in the Journal of Monsters and the Monstrous.

For further details of the project, please click here.

For further details of the conference, please click here.

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.

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