Past Workshops

Monstrosity and Alterity

Every culture has its monsters. Most embody dangers, fears and repulsions and provide distorting prisms through which to view the foreign, but they may also call forth wonder, delight, and desire. This is the second year of a workshop that approaches the study of the monstrous as an interdisciplinary inquiry spanning a cultural range from antiquity to the modern day, from high art and literature to mass culture, and from the inner workings of the psyche to the operations of power on a global scale. The workshop already has a dynamic mix of specialists in textual and visual materials, who offer expertise in a wide range of cultural traditions. There are specialists in classical, medieval, and modern Japan; early modern Europe; Victorian England; modern Italy and Germany; Scandinavia; including the Saami people; modern Eastern Europe; and Latin America. We possess expertise in numerous, often overlapping, areas of enquiry related to the study of monstrosity: myth, shamanism, folklore, religious iconography, narratology, postmodern literary theory, visual culture, and popular culture.