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The Monster Theory Reader

Author : Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock
ISBN : 9781452960401
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 48. 9 MB
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A collection of scholarship on monsters and their meaning—across genres, disciplines, methodologies, and time—from foundational texts to the most recent contributions Zombies and vampires, banshees and basilisks, demons and wendigos, goblins, gorgons, golems, and ghosts. From the mythical monstrous races of the ancient world to the murderous cyborgs of our day, monsters have haunted the human imagination, giving shape to the fears and desires of their time. And as long as there have been monsters, there have been attempts to make sense of them, to explain where they come from and what they mean. This book collects the best of what contemporary scholars have to say on the subject, in the process creating a map of the monstrous across the vast and complex terrain of the human psyche. Editor Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock prepares the way with a genealogy of monster theory, traveling from the earliest explanations of monsters through psychoanalysis, poststructuralism, and cultural studies, to the development of monster theory per se—and including Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s foundational essay “Monster Theory (Seven Theses),” reproduced here in its entirety. There follow sections devoted to the terminology and concepts used in talking about monstrosity; the relevance of race, religion, gender, class, sexuality, and physical appearance; the application of monster theory to contemporary cultural concerns such as ecology, religion, and terrorism; and finally the possibilities monsters present for envisioning a different future. Including the most interesting and important proponents of monster theory and its progenitors, from Sigmund Freud to Julia Kristeva to J. Halberstam, Donna Haraway, Barbara Creed, and Stephen T. Asma—as well as harder-to-find contributions such as Robin Wood’s and Masahiro Mori’s—this is the most extensive and comprehensive collection of scholarship on monsters and monstrosity across disciplines and methods ever to be assembled and will serve as an invaluable resource for students of the uncanny in all its guises. Contributors: Stephen T. Asma, Columbia College Chicago; Timothy K. Beal, Case Western Reserve U; Harry Benshoff, U of North Texas; Bettina Bildhauer, U of St. Andrews; Noel Carroll, The Graduate Center, CUNY; Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, Arizona State U; Barbara Creed, U of Melbourne; Michael Dylan Foster, UC Davis; Sigmund Freud; Elizabeth Grosz, Duke U; J. Halberstam, Columbia U; Donna Haraway, UC Santa Cruz; Julia Kristeva, Paris Diderot U; Anthony Lioi, The Julliard School; Patricia MacCormack, Anglia Ruskin U; Masahiro Mori; Annalee Newitz; Jasbir K. Puar, Rutgers U; Amit A. Rai, Queen Mary U of London; Margrit Shildrick, Stockholm U; Jon Stratton, U of South Australia; Erin Suzuki, UC San Diego; Robin Wood, York U; Alexa Wright, U of Westminster.

Monster Theory

Author : Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
ISBN : 0816628556
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 87. 85 MB
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The contributors to Monster Theory consider beasts, demons, freaks and fiends as symbolic expressions of cultural unease that pervade a society and shape its collective behavior. Through a historical sampling of monsters, these essays argue that our fascination for the monstrous testifies to our continued desire to explore difference and prohibition.

Skin Shows

Author : Judith Halberstam
ISBN : 0822316633
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 70. 81 MB
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In this examination of the monster as cultural object, Judith Halberstam offers a rereading of the monstrous that revises our view of the Gothic. Moving from the nineteenth century and the works of Shelley, Stevenson, Stoker, and Wilde to contemporary horror film exemplified by such movies as Silence of the Lambs, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Candyman, Skin Shows understands the Gothic as a versatile technology, a means of producing monsters that is constantly being rewritten by historically and culturally conditioned fears generated by a shared sense of otherness and difference. Deploying feminist and queer approaches to the monstrous body, Halberstam views the Gothic as a broad-based cultural phenomenon that supports and sustains the economic, social, and sexual hierarchies of the time. She resists familiar psychoanalytic critiques and cautions against any interpretive attempt to reduce the affective power of the monstrous to a single factor. The nineteenth-century monster is shown, for example, as configuring otherness as an amalgam of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Invoking Foucault, Halberstam describes the history of monsters in terms of its shifting relation to the body and its representations. As a result, her readings of familiar texts are radically new. She locates psychoanalysis itself within the gothic tradition and sees sexuality as a beast created in nineteenth century literature. Excessive interpretability, Halberstam argues, whether in film, literature, or in the culture at large, is the actual hallmark of monstrosity.

Classic Readings On Monster Theory

Author : Asa Simon Mittman
ISBN : 164189427X
Genre : Art
File Size : 34. 25 MB
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Companion volumes Classic Readings on Monster Theoryand Primary Sources on Monstersgather a wide range of readings and sources to enable us to see and understand what monsters can show us about what it means to be human. The first volume introduces important modern theorists of the monstrous and aims to provide interpretive tools and strategies for students to use to grapple with the primary sources in the second volume, which brings together some of the most influential and indicative monster narratives from the West.

The Video Game Theory Reader

Author : Mark J.P. Wolf
ISBN : 9781135205188
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 63. 55 MB
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In the early days of Pong and Pac Man, video games appeared to be little more than an idle pastime. Today, video games make up a multi-billion dollar industry that rivals television and film. The Video Game Theory Reader brings together exciting new work on the many ways video games are reshaping the face of entertainment and our relationship with technology. Drawing upon examples from widely popular games ranging from Space Invaders to Final Fantasy IX and Combat Flight Simulator 2, the contributors discuss the relationship between video games and other media; the shift from third- to first-person games; gamers and the gaming community; and the important sociological, cultural, industrial, and economic issues that surround gaming. The Video Game Theory Reader is the essential introduction to a fascinating and rapidly expanding new field of media studies.

The Monstrous Middle Ages

Author : Bettina Bildhauer
ISBN : 0802086675
Genre : History
File Size : 64. 11 MB
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The figure of the monster in medieval culture functions as a vehicle for a range of intellectual and spiritual inquiries, from questions of language and representation to issues of moral, theological, and cultural value. Monstrosity is bound up with questions of body image and deformity, nature and knowledge, hybridity and horror. To explore a culture's attitudes to the monstrous is to comprehend one of its most important symbolic tools. The Monstrous Middle Ages looks at both the representation of literal monsters and the consumption and exploitation of monstrous metaphors in a wide variety of high and late-medieval cultural productions, from travel writings and mystical texts to sermons, manuscript illuminations and maps. Individual essays explore the ways in which monstrosity shaped the construction of gender and sexual identity, religious symbolism, and social prejudice in the Middle Ages. Reading the Middle Ages through its monsters provides an opportunity to view medieval culture from fresh perspectives. The Monstrous Middle Ages will be essential reading for anyone interested in the concept of monstrosity and its significance for both medieval cultural production and contemporary critical practice.

The Disability Studies Reader

Author : Lennard J. Davis
ISBN : 9781317397861
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 66. 9 MB
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The fifth edition of The Disability Studies Reader addresses the post-identity theoretical landscape by emphasizing questions of interdependency and independence, the human-animal relationship, and issues around the construction or materiality of gender, the body, and sexuality. Selections explore the underlying biases of medical and scientific experiments and explode the binary of the sound and the diseased mind. The collection addresses physical disabilities, but as always investigates issues around pain, mental disability, and invisible disabilities as well. Featuring a new generation of scholars who are dealing with the most current issues, the fifth edition continues the Reader’s tradition of remaining timely, urgent, and critical.

The Transgender Studies Reader

Author : Susan Stryker
ISBN : 9781135398910
Genre : History
File Size : 39. 26 MB
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Transgender studies is the latest area of academic inquiry to grow out of the exciting nexus of queer theory, feminist studies, and the history of sexuality. Because transpeople challenge our most fundamental assumptions about the relationship between bodies, desire, and identity, the field is both fascinating and contentious. The Transgender Studies Reader puts between two covers fifty influential texts with new introductions by the editors that, taken together, document the evolution of transgender studies in the English-speaking world. By bringing together the voices and experience of transgender individuals, doctors, psychologists and academically-based theorists, this volume will be a foundational text for the transgender community, transgender studies, and related queer theory.

Monstrosity In Matheson S I Am Legend And Lawrence S Film Adaptation

Author : Kinga Gmiat
ISBN : 3656471924
Genre :
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Seminar paper from the year 2013 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Comparative Literature, grade: 2,0, University of Dusseldorf "Heinrich Heine" (American Studies), course: The Virus as Political Metaphor in 20th Century American Literature and Film, language: English, abstract: It is difficult to imagine our world without monsters. Their hideous appearance and scary behavior became integrated in our lives and culture. No culture can live without monsters. Children at an early age fear monsters under their beds and adolescents fight against monsters in computer games. We read about them in fictional literature and see them in classic movies as well as new publications. Monsters have always played an important role in culture. But what are monsters? How do they find their way into our society and where do they come from? Not only are they defined by their deterrent appearance but also by qualities ascribed by the culture they appear in (cf. Murgatroyd 2007, p. 2). The anthropologist Jeffrey Jerome Cohen deals with monsters and their role in society. In his work called "Monster Theory" he proposes a method of understanding cultures through the monsters they invent by giving seven theses explaining the monsters characterizations (cf. Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome: Monster Culture (Seven Theses). In: Monster Theory. Reading Culture. Minneapolis 1996, p. 3f.). Cohens second thesis "The Monster Always Escapes" will be of special interest to us. Also referring to Cohens first thesis "The Monsters Body Is A Cultural Body" we will examine how monsters are born into society and how they keep on living within the frames of cultural, political and social relations. Afterwards we will apply Cohens thesis to Richard Mathesons "I Am Legend," a Science Fiction and horror novel, which deals with monsters in form of vampires. In Mathesons fictional work the protagonist Robert Neville, as the only human being, lives in a world of bloodthirsty vampires. Neville, t

The Beowulf Poet And His Real Monsters

Author : Ted Morrissey
ISBN : 0773444645
Genre : Literary Criticism
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This book looks at Beowulf through postmodern eyes to foster a greater appreciation of the craftsmanship and subtlety of this masterpiece

The Popular Culture Reader

Author : Christopher D. Geist
ISBN : 0879720956
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 78. 5 MB
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The Mad Scientist S Guide To Composition

Author : Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock
ISBN : 9781770487239
Genre :
File Size : 64. 19 MB
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Considering the composition classroom as a mad scientist’s laboratory, The Mad Scientist’s Guide to Composition introduces different kinds of writing as experiments. Writing an essay is a task that can strike fear into a student’s heart, but performing an experiment licenses creativity and doesn’t presume that one knows the outcome from the start. The Mad Scientist’s Guide covers the kinds of writing most often required on college campuses, while also addressing important steps and activities frequently overlooked in composition guides, such as revision and peer reviewing. Actual examples of student writing are included throughout, as are helpful reminders and tips to help students polish their skills. Above all, the Mad Scientist’s Guide seeks to make writing fun.

The New Media Theory Reader

Author : Robert Hassan
ISBN : STANFORD:36105114451557
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 78. 43 MB
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The study of new media opens up some of the most fascinating issues in contemporary culture, bringing together key readings on new media, what it is, where it came from, how it affects our lives, and how it is managed. It encourages readers to pay attention to the 'new' in new media, as well as consider it as a historical phenomenon.

Hideous Progeny

Author : Angela Smith
ISBN : 9780231527859
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 80. 50 MB
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Twisted bodies, deformed faces, aberrant behavior, and abnormal desires characterized the hideous creatures of classic Hollywood horror, which thrilled audiences with their sheer grotesqueness. Most critics have interpreted these traits as symptoms of sexual repression or as metaphors for other kinds of marginalized identities, yet Angela M. Smith conducts a richer investigation into the period's social and cultural preoccupations. She finds instead a fascination with eugenics and physical and cognitive debility in the narrative and spectacle of classic 1930s horror, heightened by the viewer's desire for visions of vulnerability and transformation. Reading such films as Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931), Freaks (1932), and Mad Love (1935) against early-twentieth-century disability discourse and propaganda on racial and biological purity, Smith showcases classic horror's dependence on the narratives of eugenics and physiognomics. She also notes the genre's conflicted and often contradictory visualizations. Smith ultimately locates an indictment of biological determinism in filmmakers' visceral treatments, which take the impossibility of racial improvement and bodily perfection to sensationalistic heights. Playing up the artifice and conventions of disabled monsters, filmmakers exploited the fears and yearnings of their audience, accentuating both the perversity of the medical and scientific gaze and the debilitating experience of watching horror. Classic horror films therefore encourage empathy with the disabled monster, offering captive viewers an unsettling encounter with their own impairment. Smith's work profoundly advances cinema and disability studies, in addition to general histories concerning the construction of social and political attitudes toward the Other.

Elemental Ecocriticism

Author : Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
ISBN : 9781452945675
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 46. 48 MB
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For centuries it was believed that all matter was composed of four elements: earth, air, water, and fire in promiscuous combination, bound by love and pulled apart by strife. Elemental theory offered a mode of understanding materiality that did not center the cosmos around the human. Outgrown as a science, the elements are now what we build our houses against. Their renunciation has fostered only estrangement from the material world. The essays collected in Elemental Ecocriticism show how elemental materiality precipitates new engagements with the ecological. Here the classical elements reveal the vitality of supposedly inert substances (mud, water, earth, air), chemical processes (fire), and natural phenomena, as well as the promise in the abandoned and the unreal (ether, phlogiston, spontaneous generation). Decentering the human, this volume provides important correctives to the idea of the material world as mere resource. Three response essays meditate on the connections of this collaborative project to the framing of modern-day ecological concerns. A renewed intimacy with the elemental holds the potential of a more dynamic environmental ethics and the possibility of a reinvigorated materialism.

Becoming Male In The Middle Ages

Author : Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
ISBN : 9781134825370
Genre : Literary Criticism
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First published in 2000. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Tracking Classical Monsters In Popular Culture

Author : Liz Gloyn
ISBN : 9781350114340
Genre : History
File Size : 89. 50 MB
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What is it about ancient monsters that popular culture still finds so enthralling? Why do the monsters of antiquity continue to stride across the modern world? In this book, the first in-depth study of how post-classical societies use the creatures from ancient myth, Liz Gloyn reveals the trends behind how we have used monsters since the 1950s to the present day, and considers why they have remained such a powerful presence in our shared cultural imagination. She presents a new model for interpreting the extraordinary vitality that classical monsters have shown, and their enormous adaptability in finding places to dwell in popular culture without sacrificing their connection to the ancient world. Her argument takes her readers through a comprehensive tour of monsters on film and television, from the much-loved creations of Ray Harryhausen in Clash of the Titans to the monster of the week in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, before looking in detail at the afterlives of the Medusa and the Minotaur. She develops a broad theory of the ancient monster and its life after antiquity, investigating its relation to gender, genre and space to offer a bold and novel exploration of what keeps drawing us back to these mythical beasts. From the siren to the centaur, all monster lovers will find something to enjoy in this stimulating and accessible book.

Stone

Author : Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
ISBN : 9781452944654
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 49. 15 MB
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Stone maps the force, vivacity, and stories within our most mundane matter, stone. For too long stone has served as an unexamined metaphor for the “really real”: blunt factuality, nature’s curt rebuke. Yet, medieval writers knew that stones drop with fire from the sky, emerge through the subterranean lovemaking of the elements, tumble along riverbeds from Eden, partner with the masons who build worlds with them. Such motion suggests an ecological enmeshment and an almost creaturely mineral life. Although geological time can leave us reeling, Jeffrey Jerome Cohen argues that stone’s endurance is also an invitation to apprehend the world in other than human terms. Never truly inert, stone poses a profound challenge to modernity’s disenchantments. Its agency undermines the human desire to be separate from the environment, a bifurcation that renders nature “out there,” a mere resource for recreation, consumption, and exploitation. Written with great verve and elegance, this pioneering work is notable not only for interweaving the medieval and the modern but also as a major contribution to ecotheory. Comprising chapters organized by concept —“Geophilia,” “Time,” “Force,” and “Soul”—Cohen seamlessly brings together a wide range of topics including stone’s potential to transport humans into nonanthropocentric scales of place and time, the “petrification” of certain cultures, the messages fossils bear, the architecture of Bordeaux and Montparnasse, Yucca Mountain and nuclear waste disposal, the ability of stone to communicate across millennia in structures like Stonehenge, and debates over whether stones reproduce and have souls. Showing that what is often assumed to be the most lifeless of substances is, in its own time, restless and forever in motion, Stone fittingly concludes by taking us to Iceland⎯a land that, writes the author, “reminds us that stone like water is alive, that stone like water is transient.”

Monster Culture In The 21st Century

Author : Marina Levina
ISBN : 9781441193261
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 25. 8 MB
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In the past decade, our rapidly changing world faced terrorism, global epidemics, economic and social strife, new communication technologies, immigration, and climate change to name a few. These fears and tensions reflect an evermore-interconnected global environment where increased mobility of people, technologies, and disease have produced great social, political, and economical uncertainty. The essays in this collection examine how monstrosity has been used to manage these rising fears and tensions. Analyzing popular films and televisions shows, such as True Blood, Twilight, Paranormal Activity, District 9, Battlestar Galactica, and Avatar, it argues that monstrous narratives of the past decade have become omnipresent specifically because they represent collective social anxieties over resisting and embracing change in the 21st century. The first comprehensive text that uses monstrosity not just as a metaphor for change, but rather a necessary condition through which change is lived and experienced in the 21st century, this approach introduces a different perspective toward the study of monstrosity in culture.

Monsters In The Classroom

Author : Adam Golub
ISBN : 9781476627601
Genre : Education
File Size : 43. 74 MB
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Exploring the pedagogical power of the monstrous, this collection of new essays describes innovative teaching strategies that use our cultural fascination with monsters to enhance learning in high school and college courses. The contributors discuss the implications of inviting fearsome creatures into the classroom, showing how they work to create compelling narratives and provide students a framework for analyzing history, culture, and everyday life. Essays explore ways of using the monstrous to teach literature, film, philosophy, theater, art history, religion, foreign language, and other subjects. Some sample syllabi, assignments, and class materials are provided.

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