“I’m hated, execrated, those I meet are repelled by me. They want me crucified, and maybe their feelings are all too justified,” sang the American band The Bastard Fairies in their 2010 title track “Man-Made Monster.” The lyrics of the song oscillate between cackling threats of murder and cannibalism, and the lament, “It didn’t have to be this way, I’m a man-made monster led astray.”
Such is the paradox of the monster and its appeal: simultaneously a true threat, and the object of sympathy. Monsters have been used for millennia to frighten and control – from children’s stories that threaten them with monsters if they don’t listen to their parents, to propaganda that instills a fear of a monstrous Other to encourage citizens to go to war. But history is also replete with misunderstood monsters, creatures who are misjudged, and perhaps even become monstrous because of the judgement they experience. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, misunderstood monsters may even have outnumbered sincerely scary ones.
This conference is an interdisciplinary exploration of the variety of monsters, from gooey spider-legged creatures under the bed, to serial killers safely locked in jail and historical memory. Why do cultures create such abundances of monsters, both in fiction and in our tellings of reality? What are their functions, their roles in society, their cultural impacts? And at the same time, what draws so many people to the monstrous? Are we driven by some primal urge to touch evil, or is there a redemptive impulse in the desire to save a misunderstood creature or person?
This project will take a broad definition of “monsters” and “the monstrous,” including creatures, people, actions, and events with a view to forming a series of innovative interdisciplinary publications and future collaborations among other project plans.
Consistent with its interdisciplinary ethos, the event proposes to step outside the traditional conference setting and offer opportunities for artists, practitioners, theorists, independent scholars, performers, writers, and others to intermingle, providing platforms for interdisciplinary interactions. The organisers welcome proposals for presentations, displays, round-tables, panels, interactive workshops and other activities to stimulate engagement and discussion on any aspect of the interplay between monsters, monstrosities and the monstrous.
Key topics, themes and issues for discussion may include, but are definitely not limited to:
~ Monsters as instruments of control (Krampus, “the bogeyman will get you”)
~ Representations of monstrosity
~ Sympathetic monsters (intentional and unintentional)
~ The “monstrous” body in history and medicine
~ The monstrous feminine, monsters as gendered beings
~ Reclaiming monsters, monsters as empowerment
~ Monsters of our childhood/children and monsters
~ Global monsters, monsters from global folklore
~ Funny monsters/making fun of monsters
~ Real-life monsters: serial killers, sex criminals, “sociopaths”
~ Political monsters and monsters as instruments of propaganda
~ Monstrous technologies
~ Monsters in literature, film, theatre, etc
~ What makes someone recognizable as a monster?
~ Religion and monsters – devils, demons, fantastic beasts
~ The monster as a metaphor
~ Monsters and fear, the psychology of the monstrous
Presentations will also be accepted which deal solely with specific monsters.
What To Send
The aim of this interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring people together and encourage creative conversations in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, storytelling, performances, poster presentations, panels, q&a’s, round-tables etc.
300 word proposals, presentations, abstracts and other forms of contribution and participation should be submitted by Friday 25th September 2020. Other forms of participation should be discussed in advance with the Organising Chair.
All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Development Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.
You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 9th October 2020.
If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 12th February 2021
Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, PDF, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: Monsters Submission.
Where To Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:
What's so Special About a Progressive Connexions Event?
A fresh, friendly, dynamic format: at Progressive Connexions we are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashioned conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off PowerPoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.
A chance to network with international professionals: the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them.
A chance to be part of constructing change: There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.
An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you: Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field - what are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.
An unforgettable experience: When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are suited to the history and culture of the event.
Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal for presentation.
Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees.
Please send all enquiries to: email@example.com
For fruther details and information please visit the conference web page: https://www.progressiveconnexions.net/interdisciplinary-projects/evil/mo...
Sponsored by: Progressive Connexions