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Halloween greetings from The Monster Network!
We are happy to let you know that even though you have not heard from us via email in a while, The Monster Network has been busy.
On October 21, we held an event called Strange Blood? Nordic Belonging and Otherness in Copenhagen together with artists Trine Mee Sook and Erich Berger. The event was funded by The Nordisk Kulturfond.
We are also currently working with our special issue on monster studies for the international journal Somatechnics. The issue is scheduled for publication in fall 2018. In the meantime, an introductory to The Monster Network will soon appear in Fafnir- Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research.
Moreover, we will soon launch our improved website and have all kinds of exciting plans for monstrous podcasts and blog posts. There will also be a possibility for registering for our new and improved newsletter. We will let you know when to check out our new pages. In the meantime, keep watching for the latest blogs on our current web page.
We would also like you to remember these monstrous events:
The ‘Living with Monsters’ conference will take place in Sydney 7-8 December:
A special issue on ‘Monstrous Encounters: Nordic Perspectives on Monsters and the Monstrous’ co-edited with the Monster Network’s Line Henriksen will soon be out in Women, Gender and Research.
Stay tuned for future news, and remember to follow us on Twitter and Facebook !
The Monster Network
Strange Blood? Nordic Debates about Belonging and Otherness
Dr. Donna McCormack, of the School of Literature and Languages, University of Surrey, tells of a weekend of monstrous activities in Copenhagen, funded by OPSTART, the Nordic Culture Fund.
The Monster Network organised an artistic performance and panel discussion which included the visual artist Trine Mee Sook and the director of the Finnish Society of Bioart and visual artist Erich Berger, as well as Ingvil Hellstrand (University of Stavanger), Line Henriksen (University of Copenhagen), Aino-Kaisa Koistinen (University of Jyväskylä) and Donna McCormack (University of Surrey).
On a cold, rainy Saturday evening in Copenhagen, the Monster Network gathered to hold an event that aimed to discuss the meaning of blood, belonging and otherness in the Nordic context. Amidst increasing tension about who has the right to belong in the Nordic context, where belonging is often defined through ideas of blood and whiteness, the Monster Network wanted to intervene and open up a dialogue on how strangeness comes into being and comes to be defined. It was an intervention designed to challenge exclusionary discourses and practices in order to explore how we may make space for difference, live with difference, and remember those histories often whitewashed or simply silenced in the Nordic context.
The event was held at the Literature House (LitteraturHaus) in Copenhagen: an old, eerie church now used for events that aim to reach beyond academia and engage with diverse publics. The chandelier flickered, the candles were lit, and the alter was set as the stage for the event that evening. The visual artist Trine Mee Sook began by putting her fangs in and then drew the audience in with her performance of one section from her trilogy which explores the personal in the context of otherness, strangeness and the politics of race, while engaging the audience in blood narratives of vampires, transnational families and colonial histories. Mee Sook wove together the histories of colonisation in Korea with practices of transnational adoption in Europe and the US, always connecting these to the politics and consequences of war. Mee Sook evoked the racism of contemporary life in Scandinavia, showing how belonging comes to be defined and felt on the body, while also reminding us how language and the body can simultaneously be the means through which such exclusions may be challenged and rethought.