Ask the Editors! (about the special issue:’Monstrous Encounters: Nordic Perspectives on Monsters and the Monstrous’)

Are you considering submitting an abstract for the upcoming special issue of Women, Gender & Research on the subject of Monstrous Encounters: Nordic Perspectives on Monsters and the Monstrous? Would you like to know more about what the editors are looking for, and how they imagine the special issue to turn out? Are you concerned that they might secretly be lizard people?

The editors of the special issue have asked themselves some important, existential questions in order to dispel your worries and make you want to join the dark side. Read on as they grapple with the important philosophical questions of our time, such as: Why monsters? Why now? And which one is the coolest?

Have no idea what we’re talking about but would like to learn more? Read the call for articles here.

Ask the Editors

 Erika Kvistad:

Why monster studies?

I’ve always thought that the most interesting parts of any subject are its unsettling edges: the things we catch sight of out of the corner of our eye; the things we prefer not to think about; the things that, if we could really see them clearly, might change everything. Monster studies is a way of exploring those edges. But it can also be a way of working differently — a way to actually acknowledge and use the sticky weirdness (obsession? delight? uncertainty? terror?) that’s always present in academic work, rather than trying to sweep it under the carpet. Which makes it both fun and scary. Continue reading

Call for Articles: Promises of Monsters Conference Publication – Important update

We are proud to announce that Somatechnics – an Edinburgh University Press journal – has agreed to publish the special conference issue of Promises of Monsters.

Somatechnics publishes creative and exciting new research on issues concerning bodies and technology. The monsters that may arise in the interconnections between technology and embodiment will therefore be the entry-point for the Promises of Monsters special issue. However, the definitions of both technology and embodiment are broad, and we invite contributors to engage creatively and critically with both concepts.

Not sure if your submission fits the theme? Or do you have other questions regarding the special issue? Please do not hesitate to contact us at promisesofmonsters [at] gmail [dot] com.

The special issue will be published in 2019, which means that we have pushed the deadlines a bit. The new deadline for abstracts is 17th of October 2016 and the deadline for articles is 1st of June 2017.

For a pdf-version of the call for articles, click Promises of Monsters and Somatechnics_CALL FOR ARTICLES

PROMISES OF MONSTERS

UPDATED CALL FOR ARTICLES

CFA picture

Monsters are back, or perhaps they never went away. They haunt popular culture and social media. They lurk as images of dread and terror in politics, and figures of thought within academia. As shadows of the past they reappear as the potential biotechnological realities of today. They roam the in-between, making borders and boundaries tremble and shatter; whether these be borders of nation states or bodies, or categories of race, gender, sexuality, ability, class, self and other. In this sense, the monster embodies a promise of disturbances and change, as Donna Haraway argued in her 1992 text “The Promises of Monsters”.

Haraway’s text heralds the 1990s rapid increase in academic engagement with figures of ghosts and monsters, the spectral and the monstrous, encompassing publications such as Derrida’s Spectres of Marx (1994) and Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s anthology Monster Theory (1996). Now, on the other side of the millennium-threshold, the popularity of monsters has flared up again, inspiring publications such as for example Ashgate’s Research Companion to Monsters and the Monstrous (Mittman and Dendle 2012). 20 years after Haraway’s essay, “The Promise of Monsters” (2012) is evoked yet again, this time by Cohen, to point to the strange temporalities and disturbing messages of the figure of the monster as it haunts the margins of reality and human subjecthood. Messages that may well be promises, but of what? Continue reading

The Monster Network newsletter # 1

Summer is slowly coming to an end, and the creatures that live in the cold and the dark are stirring. This of course includes The Monster Network and the Promises of Monsters website!

We’ve been scheming and would like to let you in on some of our plans, so below you’ll find our very first newsletter – or you can download Newsletter #1 2016 The Monster Network as a pdf. If you’d like this newsletter send directly to your inbox, let us know by contacting us at promisesofmonsters [at] gmail [dot] com.

A correction: when we first sent out the newsletter, we stated that the deadline for abstracts for the special issue ‘Monstrous Encounters: Nordic Perspectives on Monsters and the Monstrous‘ was the 31st of September. The correct date is the 1st of September 2016.

Ghastly greetings,

The Monster Network

 

The Monster Network Newsletter #1 2016

Dear Monster friends,
Welcome to The Monster Network and our first newsletter! We might have been a tad quiet since the conference, but we have not been hibernating, not at all: We have been cultivating, gathering and weaving more monstrousness!
 If you haven’t done so already, take a look at our reanimated website. This is now the official site of The Monster Network, so hold on tight and join the ride!
 

Continue reading

Why monster studies? Symposium on the future of monster studies

Save the date! This year we’ll be celebrating Halloween with a symposium on the future of monster studies. The symposium will take place at the University of Oslo and will continue the discussions we had at the opening/closing panel at the Promises of Monsters conference.

We’ll be back with more information over the summer.

For more on the subject of monster studies and its futures, see Donna McCormack’s The Future of Monster Studies and Asa Mittman’s The Impact of Monsters and Monster Studies.

 

The Blob_text

 

 

New Ways of Talking: the importance of world breaking and making as a way of creating better futures

By Russell Jones

 

A month or so ago, I entered two of my unpublished books into the Half the World Global Literati Award competition: a novella, “Dating Superman” and a young adult fantasy novel, “The Talkers”. This competition aims to “give voice to the inner lives of women” and sought rounded female protagonists, with a grand prize of $50,000 for the winning entry.

My novella, “Dating Superman”, was based on a true story told to me by an ex-colleague, about her life as a child in Brooklyn, New York. Over a dodgy sandwich and even dodgier cup of library coffee, she told me about her neighbour: a man who only lived in her area on the weekends, and he dressed as Superman. Whilst the locals thought he was a bit eccentric, they didn’t think much else about it. Years later, they saw him on the cover of a magazine, out of the blue and red spandex – he was some big CEO of a major US company. It turned out he’d been sneaking away from his usual life to escape the pressures of big business, and to date women. I had to write about it. Continue reading

“Where are the Monsters?” Questions For the Future From the Past

What is the future of Monster Studies? Where is the monster headed? And should we follow?

The monster is a creature of disruption and uncertainty, which means that such questions may perhaps best be approached through even more questions. Here follows some of the questions and suggestions raised by the participants at the closing panel of the Promises of Monsters international conference. Through the performance of The Blob as well as an open discussion, the closing panel opened up to the possible and not least impossible futures of monsters and Monster Studies.

For more on the subject of the futures of monsters, see Donna McCormack‘s The Future of Monster Studies and Asa Simon Mittman‘s The Impact of Monsters and Monster Studies.

———————————————————————————————————————————–

Monster questions, comments and insights from the closing/opening panel at the Promises of Monsters Conference, April 2016

 

monster question 4

 

How will monster studies affect political change in the world, if at all?

                                                                                                

                                                                                                   Where are the monsters?

       Continue reading

CFA: Monstrous Encounters – Nordic Perspectives on Monsters and the Monstrous

The Monster Network has a hand and a claw in this upcoming special issue of Women, Gender and Research that sets out to explore Nordic Monster Studies and the concept of the Nordic within international Monster Studies. The issue welcomes articles as well as artistic contributions.

Deadline for abstracts is 1st of September 2016.

Download PDF here.


Call for articles

Special issue of Women, Gender & Research:

Monstrous Encounters:

Nordic Perspectives on Monsters and the Monstrous

“Monsters do a great deal of cultural work, but they do not do it nicely. They not only challenge and question; they trouble, they worry, they haunt. They break and tear and rend cultures, all the while constructing them and propping them up. They swallow up our cultural more and expectations, and then, becoming what they eat, they reflect back to us our own faces …” (2013: 1). These are the first words of art historian Asa Mittman’s introduction to The Ashgate Research Companion to Monsters and the Monstrous. The introduction presents the field of ‘Monster Studies’, which has been developing across academic disciplines since the 1990s, illustrating the productive force of monsters and the monstrous as analytical tools, norm critical notions, and destructive/creative practices. Fittingly, then, not all monster studies come from Monster Studies, and monsters can be encountered in a wide variety of contexts and a multitude of topics.

With the special issue ‘Monstrous Encounters: Nordic Perspectives on Monsters and the Monstrous’, we wish to put a focus on and explore both research and artistic practices related to the subject of monsters and the monstrous within a Nordic context. This means that we welcome both monster studies work from within the Nordic countries, and work that explores the monstrous in a Nordic context. Continue reading

Promises of Monsters – reanimated

It was a dark and stormy night and thunder crashed and the rain it roared and lightening flared across the sky. All across the country houses lay silent and dark, for the lights were out and the TV-sets dead and besides nobody wanted to draw attention to themselves. Better hold your breath and hope that lightning strikes someplace else, they thought. But not here. No, not at Promises of Monsters. Here we pulled switches and adjusted lightning rods and pushed buttons and cackled wildly as sparks flew and WordPress crashed and images uploaded and failed to upload and uploaded again and old posts were deleted and new words added and finally it was all ALIVE, IT WAS ALIVE! Or as alive as electronic media can be, which is to say not exactly alive-alive, if you know what we mean, but more sort of at least not dead. Undead, as they say.

What had been the corpse of the Promises of Monsters conference website raised itself from the slab, this time as the official Monster Network website. “Welcome!” it said. “I’ll tear you into a thousand pieces, drink your blood and wear your eyes like pearls!” it said. “Or maybe just appear in your newsfeed from time to time and, you know, say hi or something”, it added. “So welcome! Take a look around! Maybe you want to write something for the blog? Or a piece of fiction, a poem, an article or something completely different for the Monster Archive? If so, you can contact my unholy creators at promisesofmonsters [at] gmail [dot] com, but quickly before we chase each other across the Antarctic and lose the internet connection”.

 

So welcome to the Monster Network website! It sees you. It hears you. It knows where you live and it really likes your curtains.

 

cropped-the-blob_text.jpg

 

The Blob. Performance by Anna Efraimsson and Tove Salmgren at the Promises of Monsters conference, April 2016.

Photo by Aino-Kaisa Koistinen.

Call for Articles – Updated

CFA picture

Monsters are back, or perhaps they never went away. They haunt popular culture and social media. They lurk as images of dread and terror in politics, and figures of thought within academia. As shadows of the past they reappear as the potential biotechnological realities of today. They roam the in-between, making borders and boundaries tremble and shatter; whether these be borders of nation states or bodies, or categories of race, gender, sexuality, ability, class, self and other. In this sense, the monster embodies a promise of disturbances and change, as Donna Haraway argued in her 1992 text “The Promises of Monsters”.

Haraway’s text heralds the 1990s rapid increase in academic engagement with figures of ghosts and monsters, the spectral and the monstrous, encompassing publications such as Derrida’s Spectres of Marx (1994) and Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s anthology Monster Theory (1996). Now, on the other side of the millennium-threshold, the popularity of monsters has flared up again, inspiring publications such as for example Ashgate’s Research Companion to Monsters and the Monstrous (Mittman and Dendle 2012). 20 years after Haraway’s essay, “The Promise of Monsters” (2012) is evoked yet again, this time by Cohen, to point to the strange temporalities and disturbing messages of the figure of the monster as it haunts the margins of reality and human subjecthood. Messages that may well be promises, but of what? Continue reading