Registration open for the Halloween Monster Symposium!

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Registration is now open for the Halloween Monster Studies Symposium: ‘Why Monster Studies Now?’ Participation is free, we just need to know how much coffee and cake we’ll be needing.

Oh yes. There’ll coffee and cake. You should probably come.

Deadline for registration is the 24th of October.

For more information and updates, visit the symposium on Facebook.


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Image: Hieronymus Bosch. Detail from The Garden of Earthly Delights. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

 

 

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Væsner. Episode 1: Void + Episode 2: Copenhagen Gate Services

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Void

Hehe … Nothingness has been found, right here on this very blog.

Nothing found


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Copenhagen Gate Services

I received a letter from Copenhagen Gate Services today.

“Must be a mistake,” Lakse said, turning the envelope between his fingers. “Sure it’s not a typo and it’s really from the postal services?” This is not as strange as it might sound; in Danish the words for ‘gate’ and ‘post’ are quite alike. But that was not it. I pulled out the letter and placed it on the table between us. “Doesn’t look like their logo, though, does it?” The Danish postal services, Post Danmark, has this red bar with a golden bugle on it and a crown. This letter was completely black with a white bar in the top right corner in which a black circle was drawn. Instead of the word ‘post’ – which is what Post Danmark’s logo says – it read ‘gate’. The envelope was white with black writing: ‘To Gatekeeper 75803002’, it said, and then my address. ‘From Copenhagen Gate Services’, it continued, but without an address.

“There’s no such thing as Copenhagen Gate Services,” Lakse stated, folding the letter back into the envelope. And that was that. For the rest of this blog I’ll mostly be writing about:

  • Being unemployed
  • Living in Copenhagen
  • The weather. I like writing about the weather.

I’ve never had a blog before. I’ve heard it’s therapeutic.

 

 


By Anne Nielsen.

You can follow Anne on her blog ‘Væsner‘ and on Twitter.

 

We bring new episodes of Væsner every week. Join the Monster Network on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for updates.

 

 

New blog-series: Væsner

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Anne Nielsen is unemployed and after having worked some years abroad, the Danish unemployment system primarily sees her as an alien. However, Anne is not the only alien in a country that is increasingly closing itself off from the rest of the world, and in a series of letters from the non-existing Copenhagen Gate Services, she is eventually called upon to help uphold the borders of Copenhagen itself. Soon her street is filled with noisy shadows, her oven spews soot-creatures, and the Danish Postal Service has gotten itself lost in the 17th century.

Protecting oneself from outsiders is a monstrous business indeed.

Anne Nielsen blogs about her experiences – and tweets about them, too – and from tomorrow you can follow the events once a week right here on Promises of Monsters.

 

A note on the author:

Anne Nielsen lives and doesn’t work in Copenhagen. She rents a flat in X__ Street, which is not its real name, and her best friend is Lakse, which is also not his real name. Anne Nielsen is Anne Nielsen’s real name, though she herself might not be real.

But then again, she might be.

 

A note on reality:

It is strange.

 

 

The Monster Studies Symposium is on Facebook

As you perhaps already know, The Monster Network and STK (Centre for Gender Research) are organizing the Monster Studies Symposium ‘Why Monster Studies’ on the 31st of October at Oslo University. The event is now on Facebook. Take a look!

You can also follow us on Twitter for more information or join the Monster Network on Facebook.

1200px-Bosch,_Hieronymus_-_The_Garden_of_Earthly_Delights,_right_panel_-_Detail_skating_monster_(mid-right)

Image: Hieronymus Bosch. Detail from The Garden of Earthly Delights. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

 

 

The (Care) Robot in Science Fiction – A Monster or a Tool for the Future?

By Aino-Kaisa Koistinen

Quite recently, care robots have begun an invasion into our lives and have given rebirth to the hopes and concerns considering both utopian and dystopian technological futures. When introducing a new generation of service robots in our daily lives, it is therefore interesting and important to consider how they have already been imagined in science fiction, as these imaginations can be used to make visible the problems as well as promises inherent in close relationships between humans and machines. The main motivation of this short introduction to science fiction is to enhance dialogue on the human and non-human dimensions of robots.

 Technological Imaginations in Our Lives

According to Kai Mikkonen, Ilkka Mäyrä and Timo Siivonen, as our lives are so pervaded with technology, it is important to ask questions considering human relations to technology and the boundaries between us and the various technological appliances that we interact with on a daily basis: Continue reading

Symposium: Why Monster Studies Now?

Monday 31 October 12:00-15:00 PM at the Centre for Gender Research (STK)

University of Oslo

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In connection with Halloween, the Monster Network and STK (Centre for Gender Research) invite you to a Monster Studies Symposium!

Monsters and monstrousness have long gone claw in hand with femininity as markers of difference and otherness. The strangeness of the monster, as well as its promises of different futures, has made it a popular figure within much critical theory, not least amongst feminists. Studies and writings on the monster have a long historical trajectory, but currently we are witnessing an unprecedented resurgence of interest in the figure of the monster. Not only has popular culture given rise to ever-increasing representations of monstrosity, but also media and politicians are repeatedly evoking the dreaded monster through descriptions of fearful ‘foreigners’ and ‘terrorists’ who endanger our daily lives. Rapid technological and scientific developments make the monster rear its head: within biotechnology bodies are explored and modified to an extent that challenges our understandings of what is human, what is animal and what is something completely different.

The backdrop for the symposium is the growing, highly interdisciplinary field of Monster Studies. This Halloween symposium will engage with the critical potentials of monsters, develop theories for thinking the monster in our contemporary times, and introduce monster studies to new audiences.

Room: Abels Utsikt (room 1259), 12th floor in Niels Henrik Abels hus

Image: Hieronymus Bosch. Detail from The Garden of Earthly Delights. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

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Questions? Comments? Contact us at promisesofmonsters [at] gmail [dot] com